As the deadline for the U.S. to renew its waiver on Iraq importing gas and electricity from Iran approaches later this month, the three key players in this ongoing geopolitical saga have been preparing for all possible outcomes. As always in the global hydrocarbons markets, particularly in the Middle East, nothing is what it seems on first sight, with each of the main countries involved looking at outcomes that go way beyond mere gas sales. The positioning began in earnest last week with a virtue-signalling comment from the Trade Bank of Iraq’s chairman, Faisal al-Haimus, that the bank – the main vehicle through which Iraq pays for these Iranian imports – would stop processing payments is the U.S. does not renew the relevant waiver at this end of this month. This would affect the payments for the entire 1,400 megawatts (MW) of electricity and 28 million cubic metres (mcm) […]