BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Tuesday there was no link between an initial oil agreement his government was about to sign with Exxon Mobil and its receipt of waivers from the United States exempting it from sanctions on Iran.
Media reports had quoted Iran’s ambassador in London on Monday saying the U.S. would grant waivers to Iraq allowing it to deal with Iran economically in exchange for Baghdad signing an oil deal with Washington.
Iraq is close to signing a $53 billion (40.5 billion pounds), 30-year agreement with Exxon Mobil and PetroChina to develop oil infrastructure in the south, Abdul Mahdi said, part of an energy megaproject.
Iraq currently has a waiver from the U.S. allowing it to import gas from Iran. U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out last year from a nuclear deal with Tehran and reinstated sanctions against it.
(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Writing by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Louise Heavens)