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Iraq agrees to pay Iran $1.6 bln to secure gas imports

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Iraq has agreed to pay $1.6 billion in debt to Iran by June 1 to secure a steady gas supply for power generation through the summer, its electricity minister said. Chronic underinvestment through decades of war and sanctions has left Iraq dependent on imports from its eastern neighbour for a third of its gas needs. But US sanctions on Iranian oil and gas have complicated Iraq’s payments for the imports, leaving it in heavy arrears and prompting Iran to respond by periodically switching off the taps. The result has been extended power cuts across much of the country, particularly during the sum…

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