[Produced with Reuters colleagues Jonathan Saul and Maha El Dahan and published here December 19, 2022]
LONDON/DUBAI/BEIRUT, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Using a low-profile fleet of ships under U.S. sanctions, Syria has this year sharply increased wheat imports from the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea that Russia annexed from Ukraine, a sign of tightening economic ties between two allies shunned by the West.
[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 on January 13, 2020]
Baghdad (AFP) – Iraqi officials fear economic “collapse” if Washington imposes threatened sanctions, including blocking access to a US-based account where Baghdad keeps oil revenues that feed 90 percent of the national budget.
[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.
[Published here July 25, 2013]
In a long-awaited move, the European Union on Monday designated the military wing of Lebanon’s Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. The months-long discussions were catalyzed by American pressure and proof of Hezbollah’s involvement in a 2012 terrorist attack in Bulgaria. The precise effects of the designation on Hezbollah’s operations in Europe remain unclear; nevertheless, as British Foreign Secretary William Hague and EU officials assessed, the move serves as an important message to Hezbollah that its era of impunity in Europe is coming to an end.