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US grants 45-day sanctions waiver allowing Iraq to buy power from Iran

New York — The US State Department Nov. 20 granted a 45-day waiver extension to Iraq allowing it to keep paying for electricity imports from Iran.

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"The Secretary has renewed the sanctions waiver for Iraq to engage in financial transactions related to the import of electricity from Iran," a State Department spokesperson 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."

The prior 60-day waiver extension was due to expire on Nov. 22.

Iraq depends on the imports because of routine power shortages and its flaring of associated gas, which is bound by production limits as part of the country's attempted adherence to OPEC+ cuts.

The State Department has touted the waiver extensions as a sign of diplomatic success between Washington and Baghdad. The governments signed several energy agreements during Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi's visit to Washington in August.

During Kadhimi's visit to Washington, the Iraqi electricity ministry signed deals with several US companies worth up to $8 billion. US Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette said at the time the agreements would be key to Iraq becoming energy self-sufficient.