U.S. extends Iraq's waiver to import gas, electricity from Iran

December 4, 2021 - 16:17

TEHRAN - The Biden administration has once again waived sanctions on Iran to allow the Islamic Republic to export electricity to Iraq for another 120 days, the Washington Free Beacon reported on Friday.

The waiver notification was signed on November 19 and transmitted to congress 10 days later as nuclear negotiations resumed.

According to the report, the timing of the transmission suggests that the Biden administration is offering concessions to Tehran to show goodwill as talks aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal restart following a months-long standoff.

The United States had granted another waiver from sanctions to Iraq back in March to let the Arab country import electricity and gas from neighboring Iran and pay for electricity purchases within a four-month period.

Washington has repeatedly extended the waiver for Baghdad to import Iranian gas and electricity and use the crucial energy supplies for its struggling power grid.

Iraq relies heavily on Iranian gas to feed several power plants across the country, while Iranian electricity exports also account for a major part of the country’s power supply.

Gas imports from Iran generate as much as 45 percent of Iraq’s 14,000 megawatts of electricity consumed daily.

Besides importing 38 million cubic meters of Iran’s natural gas to power its electricity generation, Iraq buys 1200-1500 megawatts a day of electricity from the Islamic Republic.

In addition to natural gas and electricity, Iraq imports a wide range of goods from Iran including food, agricultural products, home appliances, and air conditioners.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration blacklisted Iran’s energy industry in late 2018 following its unilateral withdrawal from a multilateral nuclear deal over the Iranian nuclear program.

EF/MG

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