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Iraq Braces for Power Shortages as Iran Cuts Gas Supplies

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Iraq Braces for Power Shortages as Iran Cuts Gas Supplies

Thursday, 2 June, 2022 - 08:00
A general view of cars in a market in Baghdad, Iraq (Reuters)

The electricity supply reaching Iraqi homes has dropped once again as the country continues to struggle with a three-decades old power crisis that successive governments have failed to resolve. Instead of finding a solution, authorities often present weak justifications and excuses.


Iraq's Electricity Ministry said Wednesday the country will face power shortages after crucial energy supplies from Iran were cut over non-payment.


In a statement, the ministry said the total electricity supply was drastically reduced after Iran stopped exporting 5 million cubic meters of gas daily to Iraq.


Iran had demanded that Iraq pays $1.2 billion by the end of May.


“The Iranian side has demanded payment of the financial obligations for the gas fees from the Iraqi side,” the ministry’s statement said.


Iraq has been unable to make the payment because of the failure of political elites to form a government eight months after national elections. The caretaker Cabinet that's in place does not have the authority to make the payments.


The Electricity Ministry said it was in contact with Iran to find a solution to addressing the debt and resume power supplies.


A few days ago, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi chaired a meeting of the Energy Committee, in the presence of several ministers.


“The meeting was devoted to discussing the situation of electrical energy, overcoming obstacles,” read a statement released by the premier’s office.


The meeting discussed the maintenance and repairs of electric power transmission networks, the mechanisms for providing fuel for electric power plants, and finding quick solutions to the problems that may hinder the sustainability of their work.


During the meeting, Kadhimi stressed the importance of continuing efforts and working at the highest pace to provide electricity to citizens, prepare to face any potential crisis this summer, and provide possible solutions to address it quickly.


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