Iran signed an agreement on exports of electricity to neighboring Iraq, covering 2020 and 2021.

The two sides signed the agreement during a visit to Baghdad by Iran’s Minister of Energy Reza Ardakanian, stressing their determination to broaden cooperation in the energy sector, despite American pressure on the Iraqi government to reduce economic ties with its neighbor.

Ardakanian in an interview highlighted the achievements of his one-day visit to Baghdad, where he signed the contract with the Iraqi Electricity Ministry.

The new agreement, he said, covers 2020 and 2021, while the previous deals had lasted for one-year periods.

He said Baghdad paid Tehran about $400 million – half of Iraq’s due debts to Iran for electricity supply – thanks to the Iranian Embassy’s follow-up efforts in the Iraqi capital.

The minister also noted that he discussed with Iraqi officials a three-year cooperation plan earlier signed between the countries’ private sectors to reconstruct Iraq’s electricity industry.

He further announced plans for a visit by Iranian technical teams to Iraq next week to pen two important agreements on reducing power grid losses and repairing electricity equipment, according to Press TV.

Heading a delegation of electricity experts, Ardakanian visited Iraq on Wednesday and held meetings with senior officials, including Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, President Barham Salih and Electricity Minister Majid Mahdi Hantoush.

The Iraqi Prime Minister’s office said in a statement that Kadhimi had, in his meeting with Ardakanian, stressed Baghdad’s willingness to develop the best of relations with its neighbors.

The two sides exchanged views on cooperation opportunities in the energy sector and boosting bilateral ties between the two neighboring states, according to the statement.

Kadhimi also underlined the need for maximum efforts to resolve complicated problems gripping the region.

Separately, the Iraqi president’s office released a statement on Ardakanian’s meeting with Salih, saying the latter called for bilateral interactions, especially in the fields of electricity and water.

The two officials, the statement read, also explored ways to enhance bilateral relations in all sectors in line with mutual interests.

Iraq and Iran share a 1,400-kilometer-long border. Except for gas and power, Iraq depends on Iran for everything from food, fruits and vegetables to machinery and home appliances.

Iranian energy accounts for between 30 and 40 percent of the electricity consumed in Iraq.

Over the past months, Washington has been pressing Baghdad to stop buying natural gas and electricity from Tehran as part of its “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at choking off Iran’s revenue.

Illegal US sanctions are preventing Iran from repatriating its money.

Last month, Iraq’s former electricity minister Luay al-Khatteeb said Iran will remain a key source of energy to the Arab country for years to come until suitable alternatives materialize.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

Iran’s Minister of Energy Reza Ardekanian has paid a visit to Iraq for talks on energy cooperation.

During his trip to Baghdad, Ardekanian will hold talks with his new Iraqi counterpart and the other senior officials of the Arab country to weigh plans for the promotion of cooperation in the electricity industry.

The Iranian and Iraqi energy ministers are expected to discuss the expansion of Tehran-Baghdad cooperation in the energy industry, a plan to synchronize the power grids of Iran and Iraq, the training programs, and development of the electricity networks of the two neighbors.

In a ceremony in November 2019, Iran connected its national grid to Iraq.

Power cuts in Iraq have often prompted protests against the authorities. Iran supplies enough gas to power 2,500 megawatts (MW), as well as providing Iraq with 1,200 MW in direct power supplies.

(Picture credit: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

By John Lee.

Washington has renewed a waiver for Iraq to continue importing Iranian electricity, a US State Department official said.

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

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.

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,” the US State Department official said.

The official added that the waiver applied only to electricity and referred to the Treasury Department for transactions related to Iranian natural gas imports.

Electricity Minister Luay al-Khatteeb told S&P Global Platts last week that Iraq needs three to four years to complete projects that would provide the necessary natural gas for its power stations.

(Sources: Tasnim, Reuters, S&P Global)

From Middle East Monitor, under a Creative Commons licence. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq reduces energy imports from Iran by 75% 

Iraq has reduced its electricity and gas imports from Iran by 75 per cent after achieving a strong level of self-sufficiency in its own energy production, Al Arab news website reported on Monday.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Electricity, Ahmed Al-Abadi, said that the current electricity production in Iraq covers most of the country’s needs.

He explained that most governorates have electricity supplies all day, every day, apart from Salahuddin and Ninawa, which have power for around 20 hours per day.

Al-Abadi noted that the improvement in electricity supply is largely down to the new electricity plants coming into operation.

Iraq, he added, uses 13,400 Megawatts, of which 4,500 Megawatts used to be imported from Iran.

By Bryant Harris for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq likely to continue importing Iranian natural gas under US waiver renewal

Iraqi officials have indicated that the United States is likely to renew a key Iran sanctions waiver that will allow Baghdad to continue importing Iranian natural gas to fuel its electricity needs, the AP reported.

The three-month waiver is set to expire Thursday.

Iraq relies on Iranian imports to meet the lion’s share of its electricity needs in the face of shortages that have helped provoke widespread protests in recent years.

Click here to read the full article.

(Picture credit: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

By John Lee.

The head of Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) has reportedly said that the bank would stop processing payments for Iranian gas imports if a US sanctions exemption expires next month.

Faisal al-Haimus told AFP:

“As a bank, the most important thing we have is that we are compliant (with international regulations). That’s why people trust us.”

Iraq relies heavily on Iran to support its struggling electricity sector.

When the United States imposed sanctions on Iran’s energy sector in 2018, it granted Iraq a series of temporary waivers to allow it to buy gas from Iran.

More here.

(Source: AFP)

By John Lee.

The US has granted Iraq another 120-day waiver from its sanctions on Iran.

According to S&P Global, a State Department spokesman said the waiver ensures that Iraq is able to meet its short-term energy needs while it takes steps to reduce its dependence on Iranian energy imports.

(Source: S&P Global)

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Years of war and instability have damaged Iraq’s gas and oil infrastructure, leaving it dependent on energy imports, despite having huge reserves.

Now it wants to turn that around, with help from overseas investment.

Al Jazeera’s Osama Bin Javaid reports from Zubayr:

By John Lee.

Iran’s gas and electricity exports to Iraq are reportedy expected to reach $5 billion by the end of the current Iranian calendar year, which ends on March 21, 2020.

Mehr news agency quotes the Secretary General of Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber, Seyed Hamid Hosseini, as saying that if Iraq agrees it is possible for Iran to barter the necessary goods in return for the gas and electricity, the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) “should cooperate in this regard“.

(Source: Tehran Times)

By Mustafa Saadoun for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Basra protests build in Iraq as sub-standard services persist

In an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor, Iraqi Minister of Electricity Luay al-Khatteeb talked about the situation of Iraq’s electricity sector amid tense US-Iran relations.

He discussed the waiver timeline that Washington granted Baghdad to keep buying Iranian gas and mentioned his fear that some parties are politicizing the electricity sector in Iraq.

Click here to read the full story.