Iraq pays half of Iran’s debts in two currencies


 2019/06/09 08:45:17

“Iran currently receives the electricity export dues to Iraq in the Iraqi dinar and the euro,” said Assistant Energy Minister Humayun Haeri, noting that Baghdad has paid up to 50 percent of its total debts in this regard. 
Haeri said in a statement to the Fars News Agency, on Sunday, that the volume of electricity exports to neighboring countries of 1200 MW in exchange for the import of 350 MW. 
Iraq is the only country exempted from US sanctions on Iran, with Baghdad continuing to import natural gas and electricity from Tehran under a US exemption ending on June 19.
On May 2, the United States decided to end all exemptions granted to some countries for the import of Iranian oil as part of tougher sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear program. Washington has signaled tough sanctions on any country that does not comply with this resolution, with the exception of Iraq. 
During his recent visit to Baghdad in early May, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assured Iraqi officials that his country plans to renew the exemption granted to Iraq for importing gas and electricity from Iran. 
The Iraqi electricity sector suffers from extremely poor conditions after many years of financial and administrative corruption in the country, as well as more than three years of war on the Daqash organization, which led to the destruction of infrastructure in many of the provinces occupied by the organization in the north and west of the country.
Residents also suffer from power cuts for long hours during the day because of the huge deficit of the oil-rich state in the production of electricity. 
The prolonged blackout during the hot summer hours last summer led to demonstrations in some provinces, marred by violence and clashes with security forces. 
As part of its efforts to meet the electricity production deficit, Iraq is importing 28 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, which is set to increase to 35 million cubic feet in June to operate the country’s power plants, Iraq 1200 MW of electricity from Iran.
The United States re-imposed sanctions on Iran after US President Donald Trump withdrew in May 2018 from a nuclear deal in 2015. The sanctions were heavily sanctioned by Iran, but mainly targeted oil exports. . 
With a view to halting Iran’s full oil sales, in May, Washington ended sanctions exemptions granted to some Iranian 
oil importers in November 2018. According to Reuters, at the end of last month, Iran’s crude exports fell in May to around 400,000 bpd. Iran’s oil exports were 2.6 million bpd in April last year, according to the Oil Ministry.
In a new measure to expand sanctions, the US administration on Friday listed Iran’s largest petrochemical holding company on its sanctions list, accusing it of indirectly supporting the Revolutionary Guards. Washington said the move was aimed at drying up the IRGC’s revenues, but analysts described the decision as largely symbolic. 
The new sanctions were taken by the Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Group (PIC) and 39 subsidiary companies, as well as agents outside Iran, according to Al Hurra. 
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi confirmed during his meeting with Iran’s First Vice President, Ishaq Jahangiri, that Iraq rejects “Axis policy and aggression against any country,” stressing that Iraq is “outside the sanctions regime” on Iran.

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