Salih insists on extending Iranian energy waivers in talks with Pompeo

May 8, 2019 - 19:36

TEHRAN – Iraqi President Barham Salih and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed the extension of waiver over U.S. sanctions on Iran’s energy exports to Iraq, ISNA reported citing Iraqi news portal Alsumaria.

Pompeo made an unannounced visit to Baghdad at Tuesday night and met with a handful of high-ranking Iraqi officials.

According to a source with knowledge of the matter, Pumpo and Saleh highlighted the issue of extending Iraq's exemptions from U.S. sanctions against Iran and not creating tension with Iran.

Also on Tuesday Iraqi media reported that the Arab country has rejected the U.S. demand for cutting its energy ties with Iran.

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.

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.