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Iraqi officials: US to grant Iraq waiver over Iran sanctions for gas, food items

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The United States has told Iraq that it will be allowed to keep importing crucial gas, energy supplies and food items from Iran after Washington re-imposes sanctions on Tehran’s oil sector, three Iraqi officials said on Friday.

The waiver is conditional on Iraq not paying Iran for the imports in US dollars, said the officials, who included a member of Iraq’s ministerial committee that oversees energy activities. The US sanctions take effect on Nov. 4.

The ministerial committee official said Iraq’s finance ministry had set up an account with a state-run bank where Baghdad would deposit in Iraqi dinars the amounts owed to Iran for the imports.

Central bank officials said in August that Iraq’s economy is so closely linked to Iran that Baghdad would ask Washington for permission to ignore some US sanctions.

Iraq imports crucial supplies from its neighbor including using gas for power stations.