US removes Iraqi bank from Iran sanctions list

Updated 18 May 2013

US removes Iraqi bank from Iran sanctions list

WASHINGTON: The US has removed sanctions on an Iraqi bank that was blacklisted last year for helping Iran skirt international financial controls over its nuclear activities.
The US Treasury said it removed the sanctions placed last July on Baghdad-based Elaf Islamic Bank after Elaf acted to freeze assets of the Export Development Bank of Iran and cut its exposure to Iran’s financial system.
The sanctions, part of the US effort to isolate Iran from the global economy over its alleged nuclear weapons program, had banned Elaf from any access to the US financial system.
At the time the Treasury said Elaf had knowingly facilitated financial transactions for the EDBI, on which both the US and European Union have placed strict controls for its role in financing the government in Tehran.
“Today we welcome Elaf Islamic Bank back into the US financial system, and we urge other designated individuals and entities around the world to follow its positive example,” said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen.
“As today’s delisting demonstrates, our sanctions are flexible and can be lifted if the conduct that led to the sanction terminates,” he said in a statement.
On Wednesday, Cohen told a US Senate committee that the sanctions on Iran were having an impact, slashing its oil export receipts by $ 3-5 billion a month, fueling inflation and sharply devaluing the Iranian rial.
Cohen said the US plans to block the sale of gold to Iranians, whether the government or individuals, from July 1, and has already pressed Turkey and the UAE — both gold-trading centers — to implement the measure.
Washington expects that choking off the supply of gold to Iranians will further deflate the currency and undermine the regime.
“They are dumping their rials to buy gold as a way to try to preserve their wealth. That is I think an indication that they recognize that the value of their currency is declining,” he told lawmakers.


Japan receives first shipment of blue ammonia from Saudi Aramco, SABIC

Updated 28 September 2020

Japan receives first shipment of blue ammonia from Saudi Aramco, SABIC

JAPAN: Saudi Aramco and Japan’s Institute of Energy Economics (IEEJ) announced the first shipment of blue ammonia from Saudi Arabia to Japan on Sunday.

The shipment, which was in partnership with Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), contained forty tons of high-grade blue ammonia, and is meant for use in zero-carbon power generation.

Saudi Aramco said in a statement that shipping challenges were overcome with 30 tons of CO2 captured during the process designated for use in methanol production at one of SABIC’s facilities and another 20 tons of captured CO2 being used for enhanced oil recovery at Aramco’s field.

Mitsubishi Corporation, which is representing IEEJ’s study team, is working with SABIC to monitor the transport logistics in partnership with JGC Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co and UBE Industries.

“The shipment is considered the first around the world, and it represents a crucial opportunity for Aramco to introduce hydrocarbons as a reliable and affordable source of low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia,” said Ahmad Al-Khowaiter, Chief Technology Officer, Saudi Aramco, according to Saudi media.

Fahad Al-Sherehy, SABIC’s Vice President of Energy Efficiency and Carbon Management, also said: “At SABIC, we can economically leverage our existing infrastructure for hydrogen and ammonia production with CO2 capture. Our experience in the full supply chain along with integrated petrochemicals facilities will play an important role in providing the world with the blue ammonia.”

Ammonia can help supply the world’s increasing demand for energy through reliable and sustainable methods. 

The Saudi-Japan blue ammonia supply network involved a full value chain; including the conversion of hydrocarbons to hydrogen and then to ammonia, as well as the capture of associated carbon dioxide emissions.