Iraq says no replacement for Iran’s electricity

May 13, 2019

TEHRAN – Iraqi electricity minister said there is no alternative for Iran’s electricity in terms of volume, price or speed of delivery, Mehr news agency reported.

“This is something [the electricity coming from Iran] that in terms of price and volume and delivery there is no alternative for. We have explored other options in neighboring countries.

here is no alternative that competes on volume or price or speed of delivery to make up for that,” Luay al-Khatteeb told Foreign Policy.

The official further mentioned his country’s plans to rebuild the shattered power sector, and the U.S. pressure over continued energy ties with Iran.

“To rebuild the Iraqi power sector we need at least 100 substations across the country and interconnections with neighboring countries. This is something we signed with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, with Iran, soon with Turkey and Syria”, he said.

“At the moment, about four gigawatts [nearly one-third of Iraqi electricity] comes directly and indirectly from Iran, either by providing the electricity directly or through natural gas supplies that provide the feedstock for power generation”, al-Khateeb added.

He further underlined Iraq’s strategic relations with its six neighbors, noting “this must not be compromised at the expense of one relationship.”

Earlier this month, Al-Khateed said Iraq will need to import gas and electricity from Iran for at least three more years.

Other Iraqi officials including Oil Minister Thamer al-Ghazban had also referred to improbability of cutting gas and power imports from Iran under U.S. pressure, before.

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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