Washington extends Iraq’s exemption to import electricity from Iran for 120 days

power station in Iraq. “Internet”energy

Economy News – Baghdad

An American newspaper reported that the United States decided to extend Iraq’s exemption to import electricity from Iran for 120 days, while the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity says that it has not received any notice of this so far.

The Washington Free Beacon reported that the Biden administration had quietly waived sanctions against Iran to allow it to sell electricity to Iraq, according to a non-public notification, which was submitted to Congress as nuclear talks between the United States and Tehran resumed.

The timing of the waiver notice, which was signed on November 19 but not sent to Congress until November 29, the day nuclear negotiations resumed, prompted accusations that the Biden administration was making concessions to Tehran to generate goodwill as the talks aimed to secure the renewal of a copy From the 2015 nuclear deal restarted after a months-long standoff.

During the months-long pause, Tehran increased its nuclear program, including uranium enrichment and the installation of advanced nuclear centrifuges. 

A senior congressional source familiar with the matter said that the delay in referring the waiver to Congress indicates that the administration is sensitive to the idea of ​​threatening sanctions once negotiations resume.

Richard Goldberg, the former director of countering Iran’s weapons of mass destruction on Trump’s White House National Security Council, told the newspaper that the latest electricity waiver amounted to a “Chanuka’s worn-out gift” to Iran.

Goldberg, now a senior advisor to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, added, “This is just another unfortunate example of showing weakness and respect at a time when the United States needs to build influence and project strength. If the concession was to be renewed in Iraq’s relations, it should have been sent and announced before it arrived in Vienna.” For a long time. It’s just a scream of despair.”

In turn, spokesman for the Ministry of Electricity, Ahmed Moussa, said, “The ministry has not received any official notification to extend the import of electricity from Iran,” according to Rudaw.

Moussa believes, “On the basis of this extension, it was built on the fact that Iraq is continuing to diversify its energy sources by exploiting the fuel plan and rehabilitating gas fields, as well as by adopting solar energy projects.”

Iran insists that the United States rescind all economic sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, a demand the Biden administration says it is willing to meet. 

The sanctions waiver gives Iran another 120 days to sell electricity to Iraq without facing sanctions, an arrangement that has generated income for Tehran.

The State Department asserts in the waiver that Iranian electricity sales to Iraq remain “in the national security interests of the United States.” 

According to the exemption, Iraq’s failure to reduce its dependence on Iranian electricity made it necessary for the United States to waive sanctions to enable these sales.

A spokesman for the US State Department confirmed that the waiver was issued, and said it was aimed at helping ensure Iraq’s ability to generate energy.



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