News ID: 260347
Published: 0405 GMT October 16, 2019

Iraq gets another Iran sanctions waiver from US

Iraq gets another Iran sanctions waiver from US

The US State Department granted another Iran sanctions waiver to Iraq, further extending a grace period for vital energy imports.

A previous waiver, granted in June expired on Wednesday. The new waiver is for 120 days, according to officials close to the negotiations, reported on Wednesday.

In June, the United States allowed Iraq to import Iranian gas for its power grid for another three months by extending a waiver to sanctions.

Iraq has had several extensions to the waiver first granted last year after Washington re-imposed 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.

Washington re-imposed sanctions on Iran’s oil industry in November, 2018.

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 1.5 billion 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.

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