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Iraq to import natural gas from Iran

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July 23, 2013 06:45 AM EST | AP

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BAGHDAD — An Iraqi government spokesman says Baghdad has signed a deal with Iran to import natural gas for power generation, further intertwining the economies of the two Shiite-dominated countries.

Electricity Ministry spokesman Musab al-Mudaris said Tuesday that the four-year deal stipulates that Iraq buy 850 million cubic feet a day of gas at international market prices.

Al-Mudaris added that the gas will be shipped through a pipeline which will be completed in the coming two months. He said the gas will feed a power plant in Diyala province east of Baghdad and two others in the capital to generate 2,500 MW. The deal was signed in Baghdad on Sunday.

Iraq has spent billions of dollars to rebuild its dilapidated electrical grid since the 1990s, but Iraqis still suffer chronic power outages.