Iraq receives waiver extension to import Iranian gas, power

TEHRAN, Dec. 22 (MNA) – The United States has extended for 90 days a waiver given to Iraq from sanctions against Iran, a State Department spokesman said on Friday, allowing Baghdad to keep importing Iranian gas that is critical for Iraqi power production.

The extension was reached on Thursday, when a previous 45-day waiver was due to expire, during a visit to Washington by an Iraqi delegation, according to two Iraqi officials with direct knowledge of the negotiations, Reuters reported.

“A 90-day waiver was granted to allow Iraq to continue to pay for electricity imports from Iran,” a State Department spokesman said, adding that the waiver will apply to both electricity and gas.

US President Donald Trump pulled the US out of Iran nuclear deal on May 8, breaking with Europe, and in November a full panoply of US sanctions came into force against Iran. Humanitarian goods such as food, medicines, medical devices, and in some cases oil and gas, are "in theory" exempted from US sanctions.

Washington gave Iraq a 45-day waiver for imports of gas from Iran when it reimposed sanctions on Iran’s oil sector on Nov. 5. This is while Iraqi officials say they need Iran’s gas to meet their electricity production demands.

Iraq relies heavily on Iranian gas to feed its power stations, importing roughly 1.5 billion standard cubic feet per day via pipelines in the south and east.

MR/4491424/PR

News Code 140736

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