US energy secretary urges Iraq to quit dependency on Iran

U. S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, right, talks with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman, left, during a U.S. chamber of commerce's U.S. Iraq business initiative business mission to Iraq in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, Pool)

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has urged Iraq to reduce its energy dependence on Iran and open its own energy sector to American investment instead

BAGHDAD — U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has urged Iraq to reduce its energy dependence on Iran and open its energy sector to American investment instead.

Perry met with top Iraqi officials in Baghdad and in the Kurdish region on Tuesday to discuss US investment in Iraq.

Iraq is caught in a delicate position as it continues to draw on Iranian gas and electricity production despite renewed U.S. sanctions against Iran's energy sector.

Iraq's own energy sector cannot produce enough electricity to power the country.

Perry said the U.S. and its business community were prepared to help Iraq develop its own energy sector.

"The time has come for Iraq to break its dependence on others and move forward toward true energy independence," said Perry.

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