[Published here September 7, 2021]
Ibrahim al-Masri wipes sweat from his brow as he queues behind two dozen other cars outside a Beirut gas station. It could take hours to replenish his depleted tank – but with no spare cash to bribe the pump attendant, all he can do is wait.
As Lebanon’s deepening economic crisis causes shortages of basic goods including fuel, medicine and even bread, a privileged few are finding ways to beat the queues and rationing by wielding personal connections, or wads of banknotes.
[Published here February 15, 2020]
Baghdad (AFP) – Irked by Iraq’s close ties to neighbouring Iran, Washington has begun following through on threats to squeeze Baghdad’s fragile economy with delays to crucial cash deliveries and shortened sanctions waivers.
[Published here July 2, 2019]
Baghdad (AFP) – Iraq is establishing a financial “loophole” to continue buying vital gas and electricity from Iran despite US sanctions, AFP has learned, mirroring a European mechanism that came into effect Friday.
[Published here December 11, 2018]
Baghdad (AFP) – US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Tuesday Iraq should partner with American companies to become energy independent, as Baghdad’s waiver from US sanctions on Iran nears its expiry.
[Published here November 28, 2018]
Iraq’s broken electricity sector is planning a long-awaited overhaul to both meet US pressure to halt Iranian power imports and head off summertime protests over chronic cuts.
[Written with my colleague Ammar Karim and published here on November 8, 2018]
Iraq has won an exemption allowing it to buy Iranian electricity despite US sanctions, as the country plagued by chronic power shortages walks a tightrope between rivals Washington and Tehran.
With US measures imposed Monday taking aim at Iran’s banking and energy industries, there were concerns Iraq — which heavily relies on its eastern neighbour for electricity and consumer goods — would be caught in the crossfire.