Tuesday, May. 24th 2011

Iraq Gives the Quds Force Another Stick to Use Against It

Iraq war veterans will remember the electricity shortages Baghdad and other cities experienced in 2004 and 2005 when insurgents were attacking pipelines and powerplants resulting in some cities only having a few hours of electricity a day. Baghdad buildings were built with air conditioning in mind and quickly became brick ovens when the electricity went off. For years, Iraqi citizens could only run air conditioners, televisions, and washing machines at certain times, often in the middle of the night, and this was such a critical issue, the Multi-National Force-Iraq staff tracked the amount of electricity in all the provinces with the goal of restoring pre-war service.

Those conditions still persist–Iraq produces 7000 megawatts per day which is half of what it needs. It imports another 1000 megawatts of electricity from Iran. And now the Islamic regime next door is going to help even more.  According to the Washington Post, Iraq just signed a gas deal to have Iran supply natural gas to power two electrical power plants in Sadr City and Al-Quds, two northern suburbs of Baghdad.

Giving the Quds Force, which runs Iran’s foreign policy for Iraq, the ability to reduce or even cut off electricity and natural gas gives Iran further influence over politicians in Iraq. This ability is so important to Iran that it is willing to sign a deal to supply natural gas to Iraq even though it can’t supply enough gas to its own citizens. Even if the sanctions led by the United States and U.S. influence on Iraqi policymakers kills this deal which wouldn’t take effect for at least 18 months – the amount of time needed to build the pipeline to carry the gas – it demonstrates the influence that Iran and the IRGC continue to cultivate in Iraq.

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