US extends Iraq's waiver to buy Iranian electricity

The 30 days is shorter than previous extensions

Iraq's designated prime minister Mustafa Al-Khadimi delivers his first televised speech after his nomination ceremony, in Baghdad, Iraq April 9, 2020, in this still image taken from video. Iraqiya TV/Reuters TV via REUTERS IRAQ OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN IRAQ
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The US has renewed a waiver for Iraq to import Iranian electricity, a State Department official said on Sunday.

The 30 days Washington has allowed Iraq is shorter than previous extensions.

The White House gave the extension to allow for a “credible government” to be formed in Iraq, the official told Reuters, and further extensions would be considered afterwards.

The new waiver expires on May 26. Previous waivers were granted for 90 or 120 days.

The US has insisted that Iraq, Opec's second-largest oil producer, move towards energy self-sufficiency as a condition for its waiver.

Mustafa Al Kadhimi was named prime minister-designate by Iraqi President Barham Salih more than two weeks ago.

Mr Al Kadhimi, the head of Iraq's intelligence service, had been among the rumoured prime ministerial contenders since December when Adel Abdul Mahdi resigned.

He was born in Baghdad in 1967. He has a law degree and has published several books, including Humanitarian Concerns, which was selected in 2000 by the EU as the best book written by a political refugee.

Iraq, exhausted by decades of sanctions, war and political corruption, also faces economic ruin and social unrest.
It is also struggling to contain an outbreak of the coronavirus. The country has recorded more than 1,202 cases and 69 deaths.