Trump administration grants Iraq a fresh 0-day Iran sanctions waiver

Iraq can be a special case, putting the administration in an awkward position as putting too much pressure on Iran — Baghdad’s third-largest trading partner — could lead to destabilization in Iraq. Iraq imports some 28 million cubic meters of Iranian natural gas daily, which powers up to 1 million Iraqi homes, however the country still faces severe power shortages thanks to its outdated power infrastructure in addition to frequent failure to pay its bills.

Without continued sanctions exemptions, Iraq could lose more than a third of its power overnight, energy analysts say. Already burdened by failing infrastructure, pockets of ISIS activity in addition to poor public service provision, the scenario makes Iraq a “ticking time bomb,” according to Michael Stephens, a regional expert at the Royal United Services Institute in London.

Last summer, Iraq failed to pay its electricity bill to Iran on time. This specific prompted Tehran to cut the power off in addition to triggered widespread protests from the country’s south, particularly in poverty-stricken Basra, where government buildings in addition to the consulates of Iran in addition to the U.S. were attacked.