By Ramin Hossein Abadian

Baghdad’s definite response to U.S. Congress’s hostile plan about Iraq

September 24, 2019 - 12:39

TEHRAN - The U.S. continues its hostile actions and attempts to limit relations between Iran and its regional allies. It seems that Washington does not intend to consider the reverse results of its actions.

In this regard, Americans have recently carried out new efforts to influence Iran’s relations with some countries, including Iraq. The U.S. Congress has prepared a plan to alter commercial terms and relations between Iran and Iraq. Washington assumes that failed policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran will work out. 

There is an article that appears to aim to influence energy-related deals and terms between Iran and Iraq in 2020-budget document of U.S. Department of State released by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday. In fact, the U.S. are trying to put more pressure on Baghdad and force its officials to leave relations with Iran through the mentioned plan. 

The foresaid document makes U.S. Department of State to help Jordan with $ 25 million in order to increase the capacity of the country for generating and exporting electricity to its neighbors, including Iraq. Al-Monitor said, “Congress is supporting Trump administration’s efforts in limiting Iran’s influence in Iraq by ending energy exchange between Baghdad and Tehran.” 

The U.S. continues its desperate efforts, while Iraqi officials have repeatedly stated on various occasions that they will not stop or even reduce their relations and terms with Iran under any circumstances.

Iraqi Minister of Electricity Luay al-Khatteeb stated that Baghdad is having trouble producing electricity without importing gas from Iran and therefore, it continue to import gas from Iran.

The new U.S. policy toward Iraq and its attempts to restrict commercial relations with Tehran seem to be coming after Washington officials’ actions for forcing Baghdad to comply with brutal anti-Iranian sections, which have failed. That is exactly why the U.S. has changed its strategy and are trying to undermine the relationship of two regional allies by passing a plan in Congress. 

Earlier, amid U.S. pressure on Baghdad to comply with sanctions against Iran, informed sources revealed that Washington has intended to blackmail Baghdad. The source emphasized that the U.S. stated that it will grant sanctions exemptions to Baghdad if it signs huge contracts and agreements with American companies. 

At the same time, Baghdad opposed U.S. blackmail, and passed Trump’s suggestion. Prime Minister of Iraq Adil Abdul-Mahdi said during a meeting with ambassadors of some European countries such as France and Britain, “Baghdad will not be a part of anti-Iranian sanctions.”

As noted, one of main goals of the U.S. in their plan in Congress is to reduce Iran’s influence in Iraq. In fact, the U.S. considers the increase of Tehran’s influence in Iraq as opposed to its policies in the country. It believes that Iran’s extensive and close relations with its regional allies will disrupt Washington’s strategy for isolating Tehran. It should be noted that the strategy has failed so far. 

White House and Congress officials are trying to restrict Iran-Iraq commercial relations, while Baghdad officials have explicitly stated that Baghdad will not be able to replace imported electricity from Iran with any resources inside the country or from neighboring countries. 

Therefore, the clear and decisive positions of Iraqi politician, especially those in the oil and energy field, indicate that Baghdad continues its relations and deals with Iran, regardless of extensive pressure by the U.S. This could be a precise message to Washington from Baghdad that Iran-Iraq relations cannot be subjected to external imposed actions. 

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