Feb 13, 2020 05:33 UTC
  • US renews waivers allowing Iraq to continue imports of gas, power from Iran: AP

The US has renewed for another 45-day period the sanctions waiver that enables Iraq to keep importing gas and electricity from neighboring Iran, a report says.

According to two Iraqi officials cited by the Associated Press, the new waiver gives Iraq just 45 days to show Americans that it is making good on conditions to boost domestic gas supply or find alternative sources for power, and lessen its reliance on Iran.

The last such waiver, issued in October, had given Iraq 120 days and was set to expire on February 13, 2020.

The 45-day period could be extended again once Iraq submits a technical timetable detailing how it plans to meet gas independence, said a senior Iraqi official with knowledge of sanctions negotiations with the US.

“It happened that the United States of America gave us a period of 45 days, and it could be extended in the event of us submitting a timetable regarding Iraqi gas investment,” the Iraqi official said. “Until now, we have not sent them a timetable.”

Iraqi officials earlier told AP that the new waiver would be a test of Baghdad-Washington relations after the US assassinated top Iranian Commander Lt. General Qassem Soleimani and Iraq's anti-terror Commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a drone strike last month. 

Following the attack, Iraqi lawmakers unanimously approved a bill, demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces led by the United States from the country. In response, the administration of US President Donald Trump threatened to shut off Iraq's access to its oil money in a bank account in New York.