Kurdistan Region halts oil export to Iran: official

<p style="text-align: left;">The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Natural Resources issued a directive to stop oil exports to Iran on Thursday, February 14, according to a customs official.</p>

<p style="text-align: left;">The director general of the Kurdistan Region Customs Checkpoints Samal Abdulrahman said on Friday that exports of crude and other petroleum products to Iran have stopped, NRT reported.<br /> News of the stoppage was first reported by Iraq Oil Report.<br /> Abdulrahman stated in a phone call to NRT that today that the halt of oil exports to Iran was put into effect after a directive from the ministry.<br /> “The decision will not include Iranian oil imports into the Region,” Abdurrahman said, meaning that only exports of Kurdish oil were affected.<br /> Asked why the shipments had stopped, he refused to answer specifically, but said that it was not due to US sanctions.<br /> US President Donald Trump reimposed unilateral sanctions on Iran's energy and finance sectors on November 5.<br /> Iraq and the Kurdistan Region have a complex relationship with Iran in terms of trading energy products. Both are heavily reliant on Iranian natural gas to fuel their power plants and send hundreds of tanker trucks to Iran each day from the Kirkuk oil fields for refining.<br /> Iraq received a 90-day waiver extension to continue to trade with Iran’s energy sector, which expires on March 19. Washington has not indicated whether it will be extended for Iraq, but has said that it will likely not do so for other countries that have received waivers.<br /> As recently as early January, Kurdish officials were saying that the oil trade between the Kurdistan Region and Iran would continue, saying that relations between the Region and its neighbors were more important that what Washington wanted.<br /> “Neighboring countries are more important for Kurds,” KRG Representative to Iran Nazim Dabagh told Voice of America on January 7.<br /> Baghdad said that it would halt oil shipments last October.<br /> A request for comment from the Ministry of Natural Resources was not immediately returned. The directive was not published on the ministry’s website.<br /> Reporter' code: 50101</p>

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