US Energy Secretary Rick Perry signaled on Tuesday an intention to step up US private sector investment in Iraq, following a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Thamer Ghadhban to discuss his country's sanctions against Iran.
spoke at a Baghdad hotel where he was attending a US chamber of commerce
event alongside Ghadhban.
The United States has restored sanctions targeting Iran's oil industry as well as its banking and transport industry.
Baghdad is seeking US approval to allow it to import Iranian gas for its power stations.
Iraqi officials say they need more time to find an alternative source than a 45-day waiver granted to it by the United States.
"Sanctions were mentioned in meetings this morning," Perry said without providing details.
He added that his attendance was sending a strong message of US commitment to Iraq's economy and energy sector and that he recognized the challenges faced by Iraq's government when it comes to rebuilding oil infrastructure destroyed during the war against ISIS militants.
"This is a different administration that will move with speed to develop an energy sector that best serves the citizens of Iraq," Perry said of Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi's new government.