US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the newly appointed Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi that the United States will grant a 120-day electricity import waiver from Iran. The State Department said the decision was taken in order to support the new government and help the succeed after Iraq’s Council of Representatives approved Mustafa al-Kadhimi appointment.
“In support of the new government the United States will move forward with a 120-day electricity waiver as a display of our desire to help provide the right conditions for success,” the US State Department said in a statement.
The United States has been granting waivers to Iraq to import electricity from Iran for its power grids for periods of 90 or 120 days. However, the political instability and struggle to elect a Prime Minister forced the US to grant only a 30-days extension last month. The State Department said that Pompeo and Kadhimi discussed the urgent hard work ahead for the Iraqi government, implementing reforms, addressing COVID-19, and fighting corruption.
“The Secretary and the Prime Minister also discussed the upcoming US-Iraq strategic dialogue and how they look forward to working together to provide the Iraqi people the prosperity and security they deserve,” the department added.
Last month, Iraqi President Barham Saleh had named intelligence chief Mustafa Al-Kadhimi as the new Prime Minister-designate in another bid to contain the political crisis. The announcement came soon after predecessor Adnan Zurfi handed over his resignation citing “internal and external reasons” that prevented him from carrying out his duties. According to media reports, Kadhimi enjoys widespread support unlike the former PM-designates and has close links with the US.
The majority of lawmakers present at the session approved the majority of Cabinet ministers proposed by Mustafa al-Kadhimi which ended almost five months of a leadership crisis. Addressing the lawmakers on May 6, the Iraqi PM said that the current government came as a response to the social, economic and political crises our country is facing and it will provide solutions.