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Official: Pro-Iran groups push Iraq to end electricity ties with GCC

A mask-clad General Electric employee at Power Plant near the Iraqi city of Nasiriyah on 16 June 2020 [HUSSEIN FALEH/AFP/Getty Images]
A mask-clad General Electric employee at Power Plant near the Iraqi city of Nasiriyah on 16 June 2020 [HUSSEIN FALEH/AFP/Getty Images]

Iranian-backed forces are exerting pressure on Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi to stop him linking Baghdad's electricity grid with that of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) grid, a local official has said.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the Iraqi politician told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that work on the electricity connection project has reached an advanced stage within Iraq, including the installation of towers and transmission stations, however, the Iraqi government has been facing great pressure from pro-Iran forces to stop the project.

"There are fears that some militias may attack the towers to impede work on the project if the government does not submit to pressure," the official added.

Iraq imports about 1,200 megawatts of electricity and gas from Iran worth about $2 billion per year.

On 7 January, the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity announced the completion of 80 per cent of the Gulf interconnection project after a deal was concluded with the GCC in September 2019.

Iraq imports about 28 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to fill the deficit in electricity production.

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