As the United States and Iran jostle for supremacy in the Middle East, Iraq has emerged as ground zero for the confrontation. Case in point was the recent assassination of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani as he was leaving Baghdad airport (MEES, 3 January). The continued fallout could have grave repercussions for Iraq’s fragile power system as until now the US has been prepared to look the other way as Iran has supplied its neighbor with both electricity and gas.

One of the key achievements this Iraqi government can point to is improved power generation and supply during its time in office. In 2019, Iraq managed to increase peak generation by nearly 20% - well above its 15% target (MEES, 15 February 2019). In terms of average production, the electricity ministry’s efforts increased average generation from 12GW in 2018 to nearly 16GW in 2019. This still falls well below total demand of around 26GW, but given the size of the challenge it is a notable achievement. (CONTINUED - 895 WORDS)