Washington renews Iraq waiver to import electricity from Iran
The United States has extended a waiver for Iraq to extend import of electricity from Islamic Republic of Iran in a bid to support Iraqi government.
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A US State Department official made the announcement on Sunday, claiming that the move was meant to support “formation of a credible government” in the Baghdad.
"The secretary granted this brief extension of the waiver to allow time for the formation of a credible government," the official said.
The official further tried to undermine friendly ties between Baghdad and Tehran, calling Iranian energy imports “unreliable.”
"Once that government is in place, the secretary will reassess whether to renew the waiver and for how long, and looks forward to resuming our cooperation with the government of Iraq to reduce Iraq's dependence on unreliable Iranian energy imports," the State Department official claimed.
Amid illegal sanctions imposed on Tehran in the wake of the US unilateral withdrawal from the internationally backed Iran nuclear deal, Washington has repeatedly extended the exemption for Iraq to import crucial Iranian energy supplies.
The waiver has been renewed for a shorter period of 30 days this time, compared to previous periods of 90 or 120 days.
Iraq and Iran share a 1,400-kilometer-long border. For their run-of-the-mill maintenance, Iraqis depend on Iranian companies for many things from food to machinery, electricity, natural gas, fruits and vegetables.
The Trump administration has been pressing Iraq to stop buying natural gas and electricity from Iran or at least show signs that it is reducing the imports.