ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The President of Iraq on Sunday urged the US to consider the political and economic position of Baghdad as the countries negotiate relief for Iraq from Washington’s renewed sanctions against Iran.
Sanctions on Iran’s energy and financial sectors took effect on Nov. 5.
The US on Friday stated that Baghdad could continue to import natural gas and energy supplies from Iran for a period of 45 days, as long as Iraq does not pay Tehran for imports in US dollars.
“We do not want Iraq to be burdened with the US sanctions on Iran,” Iraqi President Barham Salih told reporters during his first tour to the Gulf countries, starting in Kuwait.
He mentioned that Baghdad seeks to maintain “balanced” relations with all its neighbors and the international community.
“Iran is a neighboring country and our interest lies in having good and stable relations with it,” he noted, adding the Iraqi people also wish to deepen ties with Arab and Gulf countries.
The newly formed government of Iraq is tasked with rebuilding its economy and infrastructure after years of war with the Islamic State (IS).
Iraqi officials have repeatedly stated that the country’s economy is highly interconnected with neighboring Iran and that the US sanctions have forced Baghdad into a “tough position.” Washington has warned countries violating the sanctions would “bear the consequences” although a number of states were granted waivers as they attempt to diminish their dependence on Iranian exports.
Editing by Nadia Riva