Shazand Thermal power plant in Shazand county, Iran.
On 10 August, Iraq’s Electricity Minister Adil Kareem said that reduced hydropower output in Iran has prompted the Islamic Republic to suspend electricity exports to Iraq.
“The suspension of exports is due to the necessity of meeting the country’s needs internally,” the Executive Director of the Iranian Electricity Management Company Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi announced, adding that “in the fiscal year ending on March 20, 2021, about two thousand megawatts of electricity were exported, but this year, due to local needs, the export volume decreased to 150 megawatts.”
The news also comes on the heels of a marked reduction in Iranian gas exports to Iraq, with the Electricity Ministry claiming they have lost 2.6 GW of power generation due to this.
Major Iraqi power plants are dependent on natural gas supplied by Iran, on top of electricity imports, as Baghdad’s crumbling power infrastructure is not enough to ensure domestic supply.
In addition, Iraq’s power grid has also faced persistent attacks by the Islamic State (IS). A spokesman for the political bureau of the Sadeghoun coalition recently said that IS terrorists have blown up at least 70 electricity towers in Ninawa and Saladin provinces alone.
Earlier this year, Iran also banned the use of air conditioning at state agencies as the country looks to save electricity, prioritizing supply to homes and hospitals.