The Iraqi Ministry of Electricity announced yesterday that it would reduce the electricity supply to citizens after Iran cut gas provided for generating electricity.
"The reduction of five million cubic metres of the supplied Iranian gas has led to limitations to the system's loads, and caused the reduction in the hours of electric power supply," the ministry said in a statement.
It explained that Iran has demanded that Iraq pay off its overdue financial obligations for the imported gas, however with the delay in approving the general budget, and the search for an alternative solution to the Food Security Law, the only available solution was to reduce the power supply hours.
The statement said parliamentary and governmental efforts will be made for the Ministry of Electricity to communicate with the Iranian side "to search for satisfactory solutions to pay off the dues and continue pumping gas, without leading to a deterioration in the quality of energy services and harming the interests of citizens."
Last month, Iraq confirmed that it had reached understandings with Iran regarding the regularity of supplying gas used to operate electric power plants, as part of efforts made by Baghdad to improve energy production ahead of the summer season.
The Ministry of Electricity previously promised to improve energy and increase processing hours, during the summer season, including increasing power generation capacities from 3.5 megawatts to 4.5 megawatts and repairing strategic transmission lines between governorates.
Iraq relies on Iran to secure a third of its gas needs. But US sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic have complicated Iraq's payment mechanisms for imports, which prompted Iran to respond by stopping provisions.
This has led to long interruptions in the electricity supply in most regions of the country, especially in the summer when temperatures reaches 52 degrees Celsius.