Iran resumes electricity supplies to Iraq
Demonstrators in Basra ride a scooter through burning tyres during a protest about unemployment and living costs on 12 July (AFP)
Iran said on Tuesday it had resumed supplies of electricity to Iraq and other neighbouring states 10 days earlier, after shortages in Iraqi cities sparked unrest in July.
Tehran stopped supplying electricity to Iraq in July due to unpaid bills and because of a rise in Iranian consumption during the summer.
The power shortage in Iraq sparked protests in Basra and other cities, as people blamed what they called an inept and corrupt Iraqi government.
Much of the anger in the protests was directed at Iranian influence in Iraq.
A number of videos and photos emerged of protesters tearing down and burning photos of Iranian officials and spiritual leaders:
قال الشعب العراقي كلمته .. pic.twitter.com/P6MRuaFqfN
— إبراهيم بن حاتم البلوشي (@seyase89) July 16, 2018
A number of protests have also broken out in Iran in recent months over regular power cuts and water shortages.
The Iranian government says that a seasonal drought has dried out rivers, reducing hydropower production from dams.
Deputy Energy Minister Mahmoudreza Haghifam said Iran had restarted electricity exports to Iraq, Tasnim news agency reported.
"We are now exporting 200 to 250 megawatts of electricity to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan," he said.
Saudi Arabia offered last month to sell electricity to Baghdad at a discount, part of an effort by the kingdom to curb the influence of its rival Iran in Iraq.