Iraq on 14 November ratified a 10 June MoU (MEES, 25 August) signed between the country’s Ministry of Electricity and Turkmenistan’s state-owned Türkmengaz in another step towards importing gas from the Caspian nation via a swap deal with neighboring Iran. In an 8 November statement following a visit by Electricity Minister Ziad Fadhel to Ashgabat, the Turkmen Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that a protocol was also signed for a 9bcm/y (870mn cfd) five-year swap.

While Iraq will seek to portray this as reducing its dependence on Iranian gas, in reality the deal will entail Turkmenistan gas supplying northern Iran, freeing up an equivalent amount of Iranian gas to be piped to Iraq. Iran also supplies electricity to Iraq, and on 14 November the US renewed a 120-day waiver enabling Iraq to pay for this power. (CONTINUED - 135 WORDS)