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US Official: Washington Opposes New Erbil Oil Exports Through Iran

By Armando Cordoba 27/8/2013
An exact estimate of the volumes of crude being trucked to Iran is unknown, but reports place it at about 30,000 barrels per day. Photo: AFP
An exact estimate of the volumes of crude being trucked to Iran is unknown, but reports place it at about 30,000 barrels per day. Photo: AFP


ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - The United States does not support oil exports from the autonomous Kurdistan Region outside of the Iraqi federal government’s approval, a US consulate official said, following reports of new oil sales through Iran by Erbil.

According to the Iraqi Business News, a new trade route into Iran has been active for two-months now, trucking crude from Kurdish fields over the border to Iran’s Bandar Khomeini export terminal.

The official at the US consulate in Erbil reiterated that the United States position on energy trade remains unchanged, stating Washington’s disagreement on independent oil sales by Erbil and the opening of the trade route.

An exact estimate of the volumes of crude being trucked to Iran is unknown, but reports place it at about 30,000 barrels per day.

“We call upon both the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to work out their differences through dialogue without delay in order to enhance Iraq’s investment climate and the prospect of greater prosperity for all Iraqis,” the US official said.

The United States regards the growing tension over oil as a further complication in Iraq, which is already struggling with renewed and widespread sectarian violence.

The approval of the trade route into Iran is another defiant move by the KRG, showing its continued disregard to Baghdad’s claim as the sole governing body of all of Iraq’s oil exports and contracts.

KRG officials are also eagerly awaiting the opening of a new pipeline that will allow the Kurdish region to export crude into Turkey, opening the self-rule enclave’s oil resources to the world.

Baghdad has warned of dire consequences for the KRG if the pipeline -- called the Taq Taq-Khurmala-Fish Khabur pipeline and set to be completed by the end of this year – is brought online.

In anger at the KRG’s increasingly independent and defiant energy policy Baghdad has made budget cuts in allocations to Erbil. Pressure from these cuts has led the KRG to develop new trade routes to regain the revenue owed by Baghdad.

The US official also warned against any business dealings with Iran by the KRG.

“We regularly advise governments in the region that now is not the time to do business with Iran, and will continue to do so,” the official said.

Washington considers Iran’s Islamic government as a rogue regime, and does not have diplomatic relations with Tehran.





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Kurdistan Independence Movement | 27/8/2013
Where is the revenues from illicit oil smuggling ending up? We would like some transparency here. As far as we are ware, it is not being expended on health care, education, providing basic services to rural areas and creating sufficient employment for youths! Why not establishing " National Anti-Corruption Investigation Bureau"? Because it will be an obstacle in the way of some who consider themselves above the law? Despite growing public criticism of corruption and demand for rectification of system, apparently S.Kurdistan has no mode to bring about tangible changes. So whats the solution then? When some, who supposedly represent us, deliberately and recurrently reiterate the same blunders! That demonstrates lack of accountability which will ultimate lead to resentment and failure. If the status qua persists, rapid progress is not on the horizon. Wealth and greed has once again blinded us all. We have forgotten the real logic behind the decade-long Kurdish revolutions. We are deviating from our gaols i.e economic equality, justice, prosperity and an independent and corruption-free Kurdistan. Does any one wholeheartedly care?
guest | 27/8/2013
america always complains! we wouldn't export oil through iran if america would support us as much as they do with the terrorist arabs or mongolian turks. we have to find new trade routes because from all side hostile neighbourgs waiting to wipe out all kurds
Russel Check | 27/8/2013
This is comedy, let's summarize, US to KRG: don't do business with Turkey and don't do business with Iran! also give up all control of your oil to Baghdad who does business with Turkey and does business with Iran on a LARGE scale. KRG: but why? US: why not? the Malaki government is renowned for it's democratic credentials, they will gladly share Iraq's wealth with Kurds and all other groups! Just look how good the Sunnis have it! look how content and prosperous they are. Look how stable, modern and corruption free the rest of Iraq is, and remember they honored ALL their agreements with you Kurds like article 140, so why what's the reason for this distrust!?
Alan | 28/8/2013
But they don't dare to warn Turkey over any deals with Iran. Kurdistan is not a US colony, we fought hard for the current achievements and will not accept any curtailment of Kurdish people's sovereignty.
Russel Check | 28/8/2013
@Kurdistan Independence Movement you are of course right on all your points BUT that's actually not what the article is about, it's about hypocrisy with a capital H, they are essentially telling Kurds "you have no right to that oil, relinquish your rights and let the Iraqi government take full control". Well for almost one hundreds years this fake Arab state called Iraq has stolen Kurdish oil, how did the Kurdish oil money benefited Kurds? Half of it went to Arab regions of Iraq the other half to buying arms for the Iraqi army used to commit genocide against Kurds. The ONLY reason the Arab government is not doing it now is because they don't have the capability, we all know that have ordered A LOT of new "shiny toys"! The minute they have the capability they will attack Kurds, so let's not get ahead of ourselves with big words about corruption and standards that have taken the Western countries hundreds of years to achieve. I assure I hate the corruption more than you do but please put things in perspective, KRG is only 20 years old, we will certainly tackle corruption but right know there are way bigger issues which should take priority. On this one I would rather KRG give ALL the oil to Turkey and Iran for free than giving control of it to the Iraqi central government. Nothing the US does or says with regards to KRG makes any sense any more, do they even have any advisers on Iraq who know anything about Iraq and KRG?. What sens does it make to mention the limited amount of KRG oil to Iran when they don't even mention oil from the central government going to Iran which is at least a 100 times more in volume. They frown upon KRG having any relations with Iran but don't mind one bit that Iraq has turned to an Iranian satellite state all thanks to Malaki. They don't want KRG having any relations with Turkey either! Like or not they are our neighbors, we have to HAVE to deal with them and to do trade, we are not Israel with the strongest military in the region, coastal borders choosing who to do trade with and on top of that having the entire US military at our disposal. If they are willing to do that for us fine! we will not trade with Iran or Turkey, if not they shouldn't make funny comments.
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