Dec 5, 2021, 2:56 PM
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Iraq exempted from US sanctions on Iran gas, electricity

Tehran, IRNA - The United States extended Iraq's exemption from American sanctions on Iran one more time, a move that can be considered as Washington's retreat from its sanction policy.

The Trump administration withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018 and re-imposed anti-Iran sanctions, including Iranian energy export, but the Americans have been forced to exempt Iran's gas and electricity export to the neighboring countries because Iranians and their neighbors have had long-term contracts.

Iraq, as one of the main importers of Iranian energy, has been able to resort to such exemptions so far, and the US administration has recently exempted Iraq from the American embargo on Iran's gas and electricity.

The United States Department of State has announced that Washington extended Iraq's waiver from the US sanctions against Iran to provide the Arab country with the opportunity to go ahead with its transactions with Tehran in order to be able to supply the electricity needed in the country.

The waiver has been extended for a four-month period to allow Iraq to continue purchasing gas and electricity from Iran.

The simultaneity of the exemption and Vienna talks to lift anti-Iran sanctions and revive the JCPOA has prompted some analysts to assess that the wavier is a positive signal from the US in order to promote Iranians to return to the deal.

The importance of the exemption is despite the fact that the US administration signed it around 20 days ago, the White House did not submit it to the Congress until last week; so, the timing of the submission enhances speculations on the possible retreat of the Biden administration when it comes to removing anti-Iran sanctions.

In accordance with the waiver, Iraq can continue importing gas and electricity from Iran for more than 120 days, while Washington will not impose sanctions on Baghdad. It is notable that the Trump administration reduced the period of the exemption, but the incumbent administration has extended it up to four months.

The US Department of State has underlined that the extension of Iraq's exemption from anti-Iran sanctions is in line with the US national interests.

The US wanted to reduce Iran's oil export to zero percent, but the dream never came true.

Following the inauguration of the administration of President Ebrahim Raisi, Iran's oil export increased and the Islamic Republic has signed a swap deal with the Azerbaijan Republic and Turkmenistan.

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