Washington has granted Iraq a new exemption from sanctions targeting states and entities trading with Iran, just 45 days, or up to a few days before Joe Biden’s inauguration into the White House, a Iraqi official at AFP.
Iranian gas and electricity imports represent nearly a third of Iraq’s consumption, whose infrastructure, which has been in disrepair for years, has neither the capacity nor the maintenance necessary to lead to the energy independence of Iraqis. 40 million inhabitants.
Since the reinstatement of its sanctions against Tehran at the end of 2018, Washington has continued to extend the deadlines granted to Baghdad to find other suppliers.
By the time Mustafa al-Kazimi’s government came to power in May, the United States – which contests Iran for influence in Iraq – even granted a four-month exemption.
This boost has not been renewed: the previous one was 60 days and the new one 45 days, because the administration of Donald Trump “wanted one last chance to have a say,” assures the Iraqi official.
Many in Iraq today fear a last-minute coup by the outgoing US president.
Many options are on the table: strike Iran or its allies in Iraq, close the embassy in Baghdad, or launch a new round of sanctions against pro-Iran leaders or institutions in Iraq.