Iraq Asks US for Exemptions to Some Iran Sanctions

State Dept suggests US will give Iraq 'same message' as everyone else

The Iraqi government has said they intend to send a delegation to Washington soon to request an official waiver from the US for certain sanctions against Iran. Iran is the source of about 15% of all Iraq’s imports.

US sanctions against Iran are hitting Iraqis particularly hard, both because of deep economic ties along the border, and because many Iraqi middle class are deeply invested in Iranian companies.

While the State Department expressed openness to discussing the matter with Iraq, they also said Iraq would get the “same message” as everybody else. So far, the US has refused waiver requests uniformly, determined to forbid Iranian trade.

Iraq said they were only seeking waivers on certain aspects, but didn’t specify which. Though Iran and Iraq have substantial energy trade, the US has been particularly averse to letting energy trade continue, so Iraq is probably looking for something else.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.