Iraq defies U.S. request for cutting gas, electricity imports from Iran

May 7, 2019

TEHRAN – Iraq has rejected the U.S. demand for cutting its energy ties with Iran, IRNA reported on Tuesday, citing Iraqi media.

According to Iraq's Power Minister Luay al-Khateeb, the country will need to import gas and electricity from Iran for at least three more years.

“Iraq is going to need two or three years to achieve self-sufficiency in the field, which will be possible only if big projects are implemented”, Al-Khateeb said.

“Iraq has told the Americans it currently needs to import gas and electricity from Iran, as it is importing close to 1,200 megawatts of electricity as well as gas for generating 2,800 megawatts of electricity from the country,” he added.

Iraq has repeatedly rejected U.S. requests for cutting energy ties with Iran.

Earlier, Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer al-Ghazban referred to improbability of cutting gas and power imports from Iran under current juncture.

According to Iraqi officials, without Iranian gas supplies half of Iraq’s natural gas power plants will close down in the summer.

Considering Iraq’s geopolitical improvements in the past few years, the Iraqi government has been seeking to improve the country’s infrastructure and one of the main areas of focus has been Iraq’s electricity network and power infrastructures.

Being neighbor to a country which is the home to the world’s second largest gas resources is a good-enough reason for Iraq to look to Iran as one of its main suppliers of natural gas to meet its energy needs. Therefore, Iran for long has been one of Iraq’s main gas suppliers.

Since Trump withdrew from Iran’s nuclear deal in November, the U.S. government and its allies have been putting all their efforts together to isolate Iran and make the Islamic country bend under economic pressure and doing so, cutting Iran’s energy exports has been Trump’s top agenda.
EF/MA

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