Iraq has signed an agreement to import natural gas from Iran for power generation, the electricity ministry said on Monday, in a move that could interfere with U.S efforts to cut off funds for Iran's nuclear development.
Under the contract, Iran will install a pipeline into Iraq and supply it with 850 million cubic feet of gas that will be used to feed three power plants in Baghdad and Diyala provinces, the electricity ministry said.
Iraq will buy the contracted gas according to international prices each day from Iran under the four-year deal, which could be extended, generating 2,500 megawatts.
The 42-inch 220 kilometre gas pipeline will pass through Iraq's Mansuriyah gas field near the Iranian border, through the volatile province of Diyala to supply a nearby power station and reach Baghdad, where it will branch into two lines that will supply two power plants.
The pipeline is expected to be completed in two months and is being built by Iran Consulting Group (ICG) on the Iraq under a contract worth $365 million, the electricity ministry said in a statement.There was also more news in today's Asia Times Online on the Iranian pipeline project providing Iranian natural gas through Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and possibly beyond, and how it relates to the current conflict in Syria. Initial construction of this pipeline was announced by Iran last November.
This level of cooperation between Tehran and Baghdad would have been inconceivable without the decision to undertake and execute Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since OIF, something of a Shia superstate has emerged in southwest Asia. One can only speculate as to the extent of non-publicized support Baghdad provides Tehran for Iran's countermeasure efforts taken in response to American led sanctioning efforts, not to mention the unofficial support it may also be taking advantage of.
File photo of Pars natural gas pipeline by Alireza Sotakbar at ISNA