ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi Council of Economy and Investment on Sunday warned of a pending energy crisis in the country if gas imports from Tehran come to a halt amid ongoing tensions between the United States and Iran.
Nada Shakr, a member of the Iraqi Council, underlined the need for Baghdad to find an alternative for natural gas and electricity, especially if the current supplier Iran is no longer an option.
“A majority of [Iraq’s] natural gas used to provide electricity to people comes from Iran,” Shakr noted, emphasizing that if that supply were cut off, “the country would face an unprecedented energy crisis.”
“Iraq is already facing security, economic, and political strains. Any additional energy crisis will hinder Iraq crippled.”
Iraq relies heavily on Iranian gas to feed several power stations, importing roughly 1.5 billion standard cubic feet per day via pipelines in the south and east, Reuters reported.
In March, the US granted Iraq a 90-day waiver exempting it from sanctions to buy energy from Iran, allowing Baghdad to keep purchasing electricity from its neighbor. However, it remains unclear if the exemption will be extended beyond the looming June 18 cut-off.
As temperatures continue to rise in the summer months, people will require more electricity. Shakr said that if no alternative is found in the next eight days, then Iraq will face a crisis in its service sector.
In July 2018, Iran ceased providing electricity to Iraq due to unpaid bills. The power shortages in Iraq caused protests and riots in the oil-rich Basra and other cities as people accused the government of corruption.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany