Influential Shia Cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr has called for Iraq to find an alternative to Iranian gas used to operate electricity plants after imports were halted due to the debt crisis, Anadolu reported yesterday.
On 27 December, Iran reduced gas exports to Iraq by 40 per cent due to the accumulated debts which Iraq has not settled.
Months earlier, in June, Iraq announced it had paid $400 million towards its $5 billion debts to Iran.
Iraq produces 19,000 Megawatt of electricity, while it needs, according to officials, over 30,000. The country suffers from severe shortages of electricity due to the continuous sieges and wars.
Al-Sadr went on to stress the need to end what he described as the presence of "occupation forces" in Iraq and prevent external interference because it weakens the state.