Iraqi PM to Visit US, Demand Longer Exemption for Trade with Iran: Report

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi is considering a visit to the United States to ask Washington to extend its exemption which allows Iraq to continue its energy purchases from Iran under sanctions.

Saudi Okaz newspaper reported on Thursday that the Iraqi officials are pressuring Mahdi to demand an official extension to the waiver the US has issued for Iraq’s energy trade with Iran.

Washington has already given Baghdad 45 days of exemption which allows the country to continue gas and energy supplies imports from Iran despite the US sanctions.

The report claimed that Mahdi is now considering a visit to Washington where he would be putting Baghdad’s request forward. The visit is said to be taking place before the end of the 45 days.

Mahdi has already informed the US ambassador in Iraq that his government would be faced with a serious energy crisis at the end of the exemption period if no alternatives are found beforehand.

Some officials from Baghdad told Reuters earlier that Iraq has suggested exchanging Iranian energy supplies for its food products under the sanctions. It is awaiting Washington’s approval. Source

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