Asharq Al-awsat English https://aawsat.com/english Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper http://feedly.com/icon.svg

US Extends Iraq Sanctions Waiver Until Before Biden Inauguration

US Extends Iraq Sanctions Waiver Until Before Biden Inauguration

Saturday, 21 November, 2020 - 07:45
US President-elect Joe Biden. Reuters

Washington has granted Iraq a shortened 45-day sanctions waiver to import Iranian gas that will expire days before US President Donald Trump's term ends, an Iraqi official said Saturday.


Baghdad buys gas and electricity from Tehran to supply about a third of its power sector, worn down by years of conflict and poor maintenance.


The US blacklisted Iran's energy industry in late 2018 but granted Baghdad a series of temporary waivers, hoping Iraq would wean itself off Iranian energy by partnering with US firms.


In May, Washington granted Iraq a four-month extension as a gesture of goodwill towards Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who had just formed the new cabinet.


But when it renewed the waiver in late September, the Trump administration gave Iraq just 60 days.


This time, it went even shorter: 45 days, a top Iraqi official told AFP, expiring around a week before Trump is set to hand over the White House to President-elect Joe Biden.


"They (the Trump administration) wanted a last opportunity to have a say," the official said.


Editor Picks

Multimedia