US grants Iraq 90-day waiver to buy Iranian energy

Iranian gas is crucial to Iraq's energy production. (AFP/File)
Updated 20 March 2019
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US grants Iraq 90-day waiver to buy Iranian energy

  • The previous waiver was granted on Dec. 21

WASHINGTON: The United States granted Iraq a 90-day waiver exempting it from sanctions to buy energy from Iran, a State Department official said on Wednesday, the latest extension allowing Baghdad to keep importing Iranian gas that is critical for power production.
The official said the waiver was granted on Tuesday. The last waiver for Iraq to be exempt from U.S. sanctions on Iran was granted on Dec. 21.
The Trump administration reimposed sanctions on Iran’s energy exports in November, citing its nuclear program and meddling in the Middle East, but has granted waivers to several buyers to meet consumer energy needs.
"While this waiver is intended to help Iraq mitigate energy shortages, we continue to discuss our Iran-related sanctions with our partners in Iraq," the State Department official said on condition of anonymity.
Iraq relies heavily on Iranian gas to feed its power stations, importing roughly 1.5 billion standard cubic feet per day via pipelines in the south and east.
Washington has said it wants to roll back Iranian influence in the Middle East, including in Iraq, where Iran holds broad sway over politics and trade.
"We are also continuing to work with Iraq to end its dependence on Iranian natural gas and electricity and increase its energy independence," the State Department official said.


UN urges resolving fate of 2,500 foreign children at Syria camp

Updated 18 April 2019
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UN urges resolving fate of 2,500 foreign children at Syria camp

GENEVA: A senior United Nations relief official called on governments on Thursday to help resolve the fate of 2,500 foreign children being held among 75,000 people at Al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria after fleeing Daesh's last stronghold.
"Children should be treated first and foremost as victims. Any solutions must be decided on the basis of the best interest of the child," Panos Moumtzis, UN regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, told a Geneva briefing.
Solutions must be found "irrespective of children's age, sex or any perceived family affiliation", he said.