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Middle East

US Renews Sanctions Waiver Letting Iraq Buy Electricity From Iran

November 15, 2023
1 min read
Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed the 120-day waiver extension which will allow Iraq to maintain its energy imports without fear of US penalties for violating sanctions on Iran (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed the 120-day waiver extension which will allow Iraq to maintain its energy imports without fear of US penalties for violating sanctions on Iran (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

The US administration has extended by four months a sanctions waiver allowing Iraq to pay Iran for electricity and giving Tehran limited access to the proceeds to buy humanitarian goods.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed the 120-day waiver extension which was transmitted to Congress on November 14, US officials said. 

The waiver will allow Baghdad to maintain its energy imports without fear of US penalties for violating sanctions on Iran.

Under a provision included in the 120-day waiver, portions of the electricity proceeds can be transferred to accounts in Oman for Iran to buy non-sanctioned products.

The waiver is expected to draw criticism at a time when the Islamic Republic is coming under increasing pressure to end its support for proxy groups across the Middle East.

Some critics argue that the waivers can allow Tehran to free up domestic revenue it would have otherwise spent on humanitarian goods to fund proxies like Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the Houthis rebels in Yemen.

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