May 24, 2022

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U.S. renews waiver for Iraq to import Iranian electricity, shortens time

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has renewed a waiver for Iraq to continue importing Iranian electricity, a State Department official said on Sunday, but this time for a shorter period of 30 days, adding that Washington would be reassessing whether to renew again once a ‘credible government’ is formed in Iraq.

“The Secretary granted this brief extension of the waiver to allow time for the formation of a credible government,” a State Department official said, referring to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and added that the waiver would expire on May 26.

Washington has repeatedly extended the exemption for Baghdad to use crucial Iranian energy supplies for its power grid, for periods of 90 or 120 days.

The United States has insisted that oil-rich Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer, move towards energy self-sufficiency as a condition for its exemption for importing Iranian energy.

Earlier this month, Iraq’s president named intelligence chief Mustafa al-Kadhimi as prime minister-designate, the third person tapped to lead Iraq in just 10 weeks as it struggles to replace a government that fell last year after months of deadly protests.

“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 said.

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; editing by Diane Craft

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