Iran, Iraq Discuss Gas Debt Arrears in Tehran MeetingSenior government ministers from Iran and Iraq held a meeting in Tehran to discuss arrears on a multi-billion dollar debt Iraq owes to Iran for imports of natural gas in recent years.
Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh and Iraqi Electricity Minister Majid Mahdi Hantoush met on Saturday to work out a solution on the issue.
“Some 27 billion cubic meters of gas has been exported to Iraq up to now ... but the payment is facing problems and we hope we could reach a solution on the issue,” said Mr. Zangeneh during the meeting.
The meeting came as Iraq is pressing for a restoration of reduced gas supplies from Iran months after the National Iranian Gas Company reduced the flow to Iraq over arrears on previous payments.
Iraq’s electricity ministry is looking for restoration of gas supplies from Iran that were lost over arrears.
Iraq is seeking to have the supplies restored as it needs them desperately to increase electricity generation in the run up to a hot summer in the Arab country where demand for power is expected to soar to record levels.
Electricity Minister Hantoush said that Iraq was doing its best to settle the payments amid unconfirmed reports suggesting that Baghdad has obtained special waivers from the United States on sanctions that bar Iran from receiving the payments