The US has allowed Iraq to import Iranian gas for its power grid for another three months by extending a waiver to sanctions, but insists that Baghdad seek alternative sources.
Iraq has had several extensions to the waiver first granted last year after Washington reimposed sanctions on Tehran’s oil sector forbidding countries from purchasing Iranian energy.
“An additional 120-day waiver was granted to allow Iraq to continue to pay for electricity imports from Iran,” the US State Department said in an emailed statement.
An Iraqi government source said the extension was given during a phone call between Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The State Department said the US continued to insist on “diversifying energy imports away from Iran,” however.
President Donald Trump’s administration has said oil-rich Iraq must become more self-reliant for its electricity, including by harnessing gas energy and reducing flaring at oil production sites.
US energy giant General Electric is in the running to win a large share of multibillion-dollar contracts to rebuild Iraq’s electricity system amid intense US lobbying efforts.
Washington reimposed sanctions on Iran’s oil industry in November, citing concerns about its nuclear programme and what it said was its meddling in the Middle East. Iraqi officials have said they might need years to wean the country of Iranian power.
Iraq relies heavily on Iranian gas to feed several power stations, importing roughly 1.5bn standard cubic feet per day via pipelines in the south and east.
Although Iraq has one of the world’s largest natural gas reserves, it has moved slowly to develop them and has relied on Iran to supply it with gas and electricity.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Dollar’s longest slump since January may deepen, says Scotiabank
French banks to step up bad loan sales as regulation bites: Deloitte
Brexit’s impact on world economy to be minimal, says Mervyn King
Wirecard hires KPMG for independent audit after FT allegations
Berlin freezes rents in key plan to tackle cost spiral
Scharf’s era atop Wells Fargo begins with lengthy to-do list
Collapse in coal prices spurs distress for Indonesian miners
Japan’s extended exports slump could push BoJ to ease policy next week
Temasek makes $3bn bid to take control of Keppel Corp