DECEMBER 9, 2022
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Iraq is set to fuel de-dollarization by banning the buck from being used in cash transactions, report says

Iraq is set to fuel de-dollarization by banning the buck from being used in cash transactions, report says

Iraq will ban the US dollar from the start of next year as the global movement against the greenback gathers pace, one of the country's top financial policymakers told Reuters.

People won't be able to withdraw cash in dollars or use the greenback in transactions from January 1, 2024, Iraqi central bank director-general of investment and remittances Mazen Ahmed said in an interview with the outlet.

The country will ban the buck in a bid to stamp out crime, he said, with over $5 billion worth of the cash that the central bank imports from New York reportedly used in illegal activities.

"You want to transfer? Transfer. You want a card in dollars? Here you go, you can use the card inside Iraq at the official rate, or if you want to withdraw cash, you can at the official rate in dinars," Ahmed told Reuters. "But don't talk to me about cash dollars anymore."

The local currency, the Iraqi dinar, currently exchanges at a rate of around 1,300 dinar per dollar.

Iraq isn't the only country engaged in de-dollarization – a movement where countries try to reduce their reliance on the greenback, often in a bid to undermine its dominant role in international trade.

China and Russia are spearheading the effort to wean the world off the buck.

Beijing has asked Middle Eastern suppliers to accept its own currency, the yuan, rather than the dollar – while Vladimir Putin has forbidden any "unfriendly" countries from settling trades using any currency other than the ruble.

The two countries have also repeatedly pledged – alongside other members of the BRICS group – to launch a new currency that they hope one day could unseat the dollar as the dominant international reserve.

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