US grants Iraq shortest sanctions waiver yet for Iran gas
Baghdad: The United States on Thursday granted Iraq a 30-day waiver to keep importing Iranian gas despite American sanctions, two Iraqi officials told AFP, the shortest extension yet.
The US slapped tough sanctions on the Iranian energy sector in late 2018 and has granted Iraq a series of waivers, usually for 45, 90 or 120 days.
Baghdad relies on gas and electricity imports from its neighbour Tehran to supply about a third of its power grid, crippled by years of conflict and poor maintenance.
“This is the final extension,” one source at the Iraqi president’s office told AFP.
The source said Washington had been frustrated that Iran was meddling in the government formation process in Iraq.
Adnan Zurfi, who has had close ties with US officials since the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, was nominated on March 17 and has a month to pull together his cabinet.
“The US did not want to put Zurfi in a difficult position by not renewing the waiver,” a second senior Iraqi official told AFP, confirming the 30-day extension. – AFP