Iran cuts power supply to Iraq amid rising domestic demand

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-18 00:30:03|Editor: yan
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TEHRAN, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Energy Minister Reza Ardekanian said Tuesday that Iran has cut power export to the neighboring Iraq amid rising domestic energy consumption.

The suffocating heat wave has forced the country to cut power supplies to Iraq, as Iran itself was grappling with an electricity crisis, the minister was quoted as saying by Press TV.

Ardekanian said that rising power demand in the face of scorching temperature was diverting much of the electricity intended for export.

Iran has signed contracts for the electricity export under condition that if it needs its electricity for domestic use during a time of the year, it is entitled to cut the supplies, he said.

Ardekanian said Iranian officials are currently discussing setting up new lines for power swap with neighboring Turkmenistan and Armenia, while negotiations with the Iraqis are also ongoing.

Iran cut off electricity supplies to Iraq two weeks ago as rolling blackouts and water shortages in the southern Khuzestan province in the face of high temperatures touched off a series of protests.

Iraqi Electricity Minister Qasim Al-Fahdawi visited Iran last week to persuade the country to resume supplying 1,000 megawatts of electricity, but the talks failed amid reports that Tehran wanted Baghdad to settle a relevant debt of 1 billion U.S. dollars.

Iraq has imported electricity from Iran for years after its power infrastructure was destroyed by decades of war and blockade following the U.S. invasion in 2003.