As the deadline for Iraq’s exemption from US sanctions on gas and electricity imports from Iran expires in coming days, an Iraqi expert recently announced that the United States has offered the Baghdad government three more other Arab states instead of Iran, namely Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE to supply Iraq with the two energies.
Iraqi oil expert Fazel al-Dabas stressed that Iraq has so far found no alternative for buying energy and overcoming the crisis.
Various factors have prompted US officials to reiterate the need to halt Iran’s electricity and gas exports to Iraq, and to urge the Baghdad government to seek energy from other countries in the region.
Perhaps the most important issue that is currently being used as a pretext for this interventionist demand is the expiration of Iraq’s exemption from importing electricity and gas from Iran. Over the past two years, US officials have always sought an opportunity to block all of Iran’s revenue streams, and in particular to prevent economic exchanges between Iran and Iraq, which are among the most lucrative exchanges for the two countries. However, due to Iraq’s dire need for electricity and gas and the impossibility of supplying this energy from other countries in the region, there have always been serious obstacles to this demand of the Americans: Obstacles that now seem to be preventing the conclusion of gas contracts as well as the import of electricity from these countries.
Of course, beyond this interventionist US demand, there are other important goals and objectives that go back to the extensive relations between Iran and Iraq. In fact, the Americans, as in the past, are trying to pave the way for the reduction of these extensive relations in any way possible and to continue this process until the complete severance of relations and even hostility between the two nations, which for various reasons does not seem possible at all. And the experiences of the last two decades certainly lead to Washington’s failure because Iraq’s relations with Iran are vast and deep compared to its relations with other countries, which ensures the bonds between the two countries, even in the worst of circumstances.
At the same time, the proximity of Iran and Iraq has made it possible for Baghdad not only to import electricity and gas from Iran at low costs and easy ways but also due to low transportation costs, other economic exchanges are the most economical transactions for the two countries. Of course, regarding gas and electricity, other important issues are among the pillars of relations between the two countries in these two areas, the most important of which is Iran’s significant capacities and capabilities in the production and export of these two energies. However, none of the other countries in the region currently have such capability and capacity, and to achieve the necessary export capabilities to Iraq, they must implement large-scale and costly projects.
It should also be noted that both the people and the government of Iraq do not have the necessary confidence in concluding economic agreements with other countries in the region and do not give credit to the documents signed by other countries. Therefore, the request of Washington officials in Iraq has no grounds for acceptance. It is clear that US officials themselves are aware that their request will be met with a negative response from the Iraqi government and people, and that raising the issue under the status quo is mainly to show the US administration’s seriousness in imposing sanctions on Iran.
In other words, US officials are hoping that their regional allies will not give up on comprehensive sanctions against Iran and that their promises to Saudi leaders as well as the Zionist regime remain on Washington’s regional policy agenda. US officials have witnessed a series of open and clandestine steps to launch anti-Iranian movements in Iraq that have not only led to serious setbacks but have also resulted in the expulsion of US troops from Iraq.
Obviously, it is very humiliating for Washington to have been forced to leave Iraq while the country is moving towards strengthening its ties with the Axis of Resistance, and in addition to strengthening its relations with Tehran prepare the grounds for quickly expanding relations with Syria (as one of the main members of the Axis).