Protests in Iraq in May 2021.

US Extends Waiver On Iran Energy Supply For Iraq

Tuesday, 03/29/2022

The United States has given another 120-day ‘waiver’ that rules out punitive action against Iraq for importing energy from Iran.

With temperatures in Baghdad already nearing 30 degrees Celsius, officials fear a repeat of last year’s widespread protests over electricity cuts.

“The waiver ensures that Iraq is able to meet its short-term energy needs while it takes steps to reduce its dependence on Iranian energy imports”, an official in the State Department wrote in a statement to Iraq Oil Report quoted Monday.

This is the latest waiver, and latest call from Washington for Iraq to generate its own electricity, since former President Donald Trump in 2018 withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal with world powers, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and imposed ‘maximum pressure’ sanctions threatening to punish third parties dealing with Iran’s financial sector. Iraq’s leaders have called for renewal of the JCPOA.

Iraq’s electricity outages have increased after years of infrastructural damage in war, sabotage by the Islamic State group (Isis-Daesh), low rainfall reducing hydroelectricity, growing demand, and corruption. The Trump administration shortened its waiver from 120 days to 90 days to cajole Baghdad, but the Biden administration renewed it for 120 days last March, ahead of nuclear talks in Vienna that began April.

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