U.S. grants Iranian sanctions exception to newly formed Iraqi government

WASHINGTON / BAGHDAD – Within the framework of increasing the U.S. pressure on Iran, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo informed the new Iraqi Prime Minister that Washington would grant Iraq a 120 day exception to the U.S. Iranian sanctions regime to allow it to continue importing electricity from Iran to help the newly formed government.

Secretary Pompeo expressed the U.S.’s support for the new Iraqi government in a call with new Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. “In support of the new Iraqi government, the U.S. will grant it an exception of 120 days to import electricity, hoping to help create the conditions for success,” said Pompeo during the call.

Washington has repeatedly extended the exemption that allows Baghdad to use Iranian energy supplies for the Iraqi electricity grid. Normally, the extensions are granted for periods of 90 or 120 days. Last month, however, it extended the exemption for only 30 days, while Baghdad was having difficulty forming a new government.

The U.S. exemption allows Iraq to import about 1,400 megawatts of electricity and 28 million cubic meters of gas from Iran.