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Washington extends Iraq's exemption to import electricity and gas from Iran for three more months
Economy News Baghdad:
The United States renewed for the third time the extension of Iraq's 90-day exemption from sanctions imposed on Iran to allow it to import electricity and gas, which rely heavily on them, especially in the hot summer in the country.
A senior Iraqi government official close to the negotiations told Agence France-Presse that Iraq included a new extension of 90 days to import Iranian energy after long negotiations with the United States until the last days before the expiration of the grace period.
This comes after the escalation of the crisis between Washington and Tehran in the Gulf, both of which have strong relations with Baghdad.
Exemption is vital for Iraq, which is located in a hot thermal zone, where temperatures this year exceed seasonal levels, increasing electricity consumption and fearing renewed protests against the lack of public services starting early in the summer.
Washington has re-imposed sanctions on Iran's energy sector in November after it pulled out of a nuclear deal signed between the superpowers and Tehran in 2018.
A power shortage that often leaves homes without electricity for up to 20 hours a day is a key factor behind weeks of major protests in Iraq during the summer.
To overcome this shortfall, Iraq imports up to 28 million cubic meters of natural gas from Tehran to its factories and directly buys 1,300 megawatts of Iranian electricity.
This dependence is uncomfortable for the United States, which sought to curtail Tehran's influence and re-impose sanctions on Iranian financial institutions, shipping lines, the energy sector and oil products.
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