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‘US cannot force Iraq to stop importing Iranian gas’

The United States will not be able to force Iraq to stop importing gas from Iran, says an academic, adding that Baghdad will continue to procure its energy requirements rather than going along with the US anti-Iran sanctions.  

“Definitely in the context of Iraq, it is not looking good for the hawks in Washington because they are basically not going to be able to remove the waivers that enable Iraq to continue to purchase energy from Iran,” David Yaghoubian, professor of History at CSU San Bernardino told Press TV in an interview on Wednesday.

According to the terms of an agreement struck between Tehran and Baghdad, Iran is to supply 35 million cubic meters of natural gas on a daily basis to the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad [gradually in three phases], while up to 25 million cubic meters of gas per day is supposed to be exported to the southern city of Basra.

However, there are reports that Iran is currently exporting only 25 million cubic meters of gas per day to Baghdad and only 5 million cubic meters to Basra.

“45 percent of Iraq’s energy needs are provided by Iran and the idea that Iraq would go along with American sanctions to extend American empire and global hegemony rather than take care of its own people, its own economy and deal with stable regional countries, is simply absurd;it is a non-starter,” he opined.

“The Iraqi government will work with the American government as far as it can to potentially invite investments but as far as cutting off its own nose to spite its face and work against Iran to halt its own provision of the energy that it needs, this is simply not going to be happening,” Yaghoubian commented.

The United States said last month that Iraq can continue to import natural gas and energy supplies from Iran for a period of 45 days as long as it does not pay Iran in US dollars. Sanctions on Iran’s oil sector took effect on November 5.

Iran is currently Iraq’s top trade partner, with the level of mutual trade standing at $12 billion. The two neighbors have sharply increased their trade exchanges in recent months despite US bans.

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