BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq can continue to import natural gas and energy supplies from Iran for a period of 45 days, the United States has said, several days after reimposing sanctions on Tehran’s oil sector.
“The United States has given Iraq a temporary relief from the sanctions for 45 days to continue purchasing natural gas and electricity from Iran,” the U.S. Embassy in Iraq said in a video published on its official Facebook page on Thursday.
“This relief gives Iraq time to start taking steps towards energy independence,” the video said.
Iraq central bank officials said in August that the country’s economy is so closely linked to Iran that Baghdad would ask Washington for exemptions from some of the sanctions.
The current temporary waiver is conditional on Iraq not paying Iran for imports in U.S. dollars.
Sanctions, which had been lifted under a 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by President Barack Obama’s administration and five other world powers, were reimposed on Nov 5.
They cover 50 Iranian banks and subsidiaries and more than 200 persons and vessels in its shipping sector, as well as targeting Tehran’s national airline, Iran Air, and more than 65 of its aircraft.
(Reporting by Raya Jalabi; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)