Iraqi Shia militiamen hold portraits of Iran’s late leader Khomeini (C), Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (L), and Iraq’s top Shia cleric Ali al-Sistani during a parade in Baghdad. (Reuters)

April 3, 2021

The United States has announced its desire for Iraq to be independent from Iran, with regard to self-sufficiency in energy and other economic sources, expressing its willingness to strengthen cooperation with Baghdad.

Ned Price, spokesperson for the US State Department, said in a press briefing on Thursday that the United States put in the context of its partnership with Iraq agreements that have been concluded in past strategic dialogues.

“When it comes to the energy waiver with Iraq, I would put that in the context of our partnership with the government of Iraq. This renewal acknowledges the recent success the United States and Iraq have experienced through two rounds of our strategic dialogue with Baghdad, and several energy agreements signed by the Iraqi Government as well,” Price told the reporters.

He added: “These agreements will ultimately allow Iraq to develop its energy self-sufficiency and, we hope, to end its reliance on Iran.”

Price emphasized that many of the energy agreements signed by the Iraqi government with some other countries would eventually allow it to develop its self-sufficiency in energy.

The US spokesman’s speech comes within the framework of waiver granted to Iraq to use and trade some sources of electric power and others with Iran, at a time when Washington is severing sanctions it imposed on Iran, and punishing all sides who violate the relevant law imposed by the previous US administration.

“In the interim, renewal of the sanctions waiver is appropriate until the agreement – agreements and development of the Iraqi energy sector can be fully realized and implemented. This is a 120-day waiver extension. We believe it is possible within the 120 days for the Government of Iraq to take meaningful action to promote energy self-sufficiency and to reduce its dependence on expensive Iranian energy,” Price underlined.

Asharq Al-Awsat

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Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.