23 Nov 2020
The Trump administration intensified pressure Friday on Iraq and Iran by reducing the length of a sanctions waiver that allows Iraq to power its already overstretched energy grid.
The Trump administration’s maximum-pressure campaign against Iran has left Iraq dependent on the rolling waivers, which exempt it from sanctions when it purchases a tranche of Iranian gas and electricity products that account for about a third of its energy needs.
A spokesman for the State Department said Friday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had extended the waiver for 45 more days, leaving the Trump administration with a final decision on whether to extend it or cut it altogether before the Jan. 20 inauguration.
Usually, the waivers last 120 days, allowing Iraqi and U.S. officials time to establish how to keep Iraq’s lights on. After Pompeo intensified pressure on Iran, that period was reduced to 60 days in the summer.
By Louisa Loveluck and John Hudson, The Washington Post, 20 November 2020
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