[size=32][rtl]Iraq reaches an agreement with Iran to ensure the flow of gas in the summer[/rtl]
May 12, 202
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Baghdad (AFP) - The Iraqi Minister of Electricity, Adel Karim announced that an agreement had been reached with Iran to repay Tehran's debt of 1.6 billion dollars, starting from the first of June, to ensure the flow of gas to generate electricity during the summer.
Chronic weakness in infrastructure investment over decades of war and sanctions has led Iraq to rely on Iran for a third of its gas needs from Iran.
But the US sanctions imposed on Iranian oil and gas complicated Iraq's payment mechanisms for import bills, which led to the country's delay in payment and prompted Iran to respond by stopping the pumping.
This led to the interruption of electricity supply in Iraq for long hours a day in most regions of the country, especially in the summer when the temperature reaches 52 degrees Celsius, which raises the demand for electricity for cooling and air conditioning.
On the night of Wednesday, Thursday, the Iraqi Minister of Electricity said in a statement to the official television reported by the Iraqi News Agency, "It was agreed with the Iranian side to supply Iraq with fifty million cubic meters per day of gas" during the four summer months.
And he announced that Iraq will import in the winter between ten million and twenty million cubic meters of Iranian gas per day.
Karim explained that Iran had agreed to provide Iraq with laurel, but with conditions. He said that "Iraq owes Iran an amount of 1.692 billion dollars for gas dues," noting that "the adoption of the emergency support law will enable us to pay the gas debts starting from the beginning of next June, according to what we agreed upon with Iran."
The mentioned figure is for the arrears for 2020, which Iraq has not yet paid due to the very complex mechanism that the Iraqi authorities are forced to follow to benefit from an exemption from the US sanctions imposed on Iran.
Iraq is not allowed to hand over cash to Iran, and the money paid must be used to finance the import of food and medicine.
The Iraqi minister said, "Iran now supplies us between 35 and 38 million cubic meters of gas per day."
Among the alternatives offered is linking the country to the Turkish national grid to supply electricity to Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, as well as to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to provide electricity to southern Iraq.
Karim said that "Qatari gas will reach us via ships, and it could start within months," but he ruled out finding an alternative to Iranian gas soon.
He continued, "Iraq needs Iranian gas between 5 and 10 years, and the matter depends on finding the required alternatives to reduce the number of years."