U.S. grants Iraq waiver to continue importing energy from Iran

May 24, 2019 - 19:24

TEHRAN – U.S. has granted Iraq waiver to continue buying gas and electricity from Iran until the end of June, Press TV reported, quoting Joey Hood, chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Mission in Iraq, as saying on Wednesday. “Iraq has an exemption from the American sanctions, so that it can continue to purchase energy from Iran,” Hood told reporters in Baghdad.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump said in March it was extending a 90-day waiver for the second time to let Iraq continue energy imports from Iran.

Iraq heavily depends on Iranian energy to subsidize its ramshackle power grid and the country 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.

Iraqi electricity Minister Luay Al-Khateed has also said that Iraq will need to import gas and electricity from Iran for at least three more years.

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.