This report discusses the Iraqi debt problem in three parts:  overview of the Iraq debt situation following the ouster of the Saddam regime;  subsequent debt relief negotiations and their resolution;  possible implications for future debt relief cases that arise from Iraq's experience. The implications are: a willingness by the international community to grant a stay on the enforcement of creditor rights; an increased flexibility in Paris Club debt relief decisions; and an unwillingness by successor regimes to claim that their debt is odious and repudiate it.
Iraq’s public debt was estimated to be US$120.2 billion in nominal value as of the end of 2004. The debt owed to Paris Club creditors as of December 31, 2004, was estimated to be US$38.9 billion. The U.S. share of this amount is around $4 billion. Non-Paris Club countries, mostly Persian Gulf countries, are owed around $60 - $65 billion. The remaining debts are to private commercial creditors. Iraqi debt relief is a high priority for both the President and Congress (H.R. 2482). This report will discuss efforts to implement Iraqi debt relief and highlight some policy concerns.