National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) on 1 September confirmed that Tehran had slashed gas exports to its power-strapped neighbor. Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity said earlier the same day that flow to Iraqi power plants in the “southern and middle” regions has been cut to 0.28bn cfd after hitting a recent high of 1.73bn cfd.

While Baghdad says “no reasons” were given, NIOC marketing deputy manager Mehran Amir-Moeini says action was “logical and legal,” given Iraq’s mounting unpaid debts for gas and power imports. Iran already last month halted direct electricity exports to Iraq, though Iran electricity ministry official Mostafa Rajabi-Mashhadi says this was due to “domestic electricity shortages” (MEES, 20 August). (CONTINUED - 396 WORDS)