PRESIDENT Trump’s energy secretary has visited Iraq to demand the country end its reliance on Iranian gas and electricity, and open its energy sector to US investment, as the Trump administration steps up pressure on Iran after quitting the nuclear deal.
Rick Perry accompanied the largest ever US trade delegation during a visit to Iraq. Iraq was granted a 45-day waiver when tough US sanctions on Iran’s energy sector were reimposed last month. During his trip, Mr Perry urged Iraq to end its reliance on Iranian gas and electricity.
He commented: “The time has come for Iraq to break its dependence on less reliable nations seeking domination and control.
“Working together, the US and Iraq can develop Iraq’s oil, gas and water industries.”
The Iraqi Government is preparing to send a delegation to the US to request the waver is extended.
However, under US law the waver can’t be granted for more than 180 days.
President Trump announced the US was pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, negotiated by President Obama, in May.
He claimed Iran was failing to honour the spirit of the agreement by continuing work on long ranged missiles and funding terror groups across the Middle East.
Two rounds of US sanctions were reimposed in August and November, with the latter targeting Iran’s energy sector.