Middle East

Iraq’s KRG suspends oil exports to Iran

It remains unclear whether the suspension is linked to US sanctions on Iran

Ali H. M.Abo Rezeg   | 16.02.2019
Iraq’s KRG suspends oil exports to Iran

Baghdad

By Ali Mohamed  

ERBIL, Iraq

The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq has suspended oil exports to neighboring Iran.  

In a statement, the KRG’s Ministry of Finance and Economy ordered border crossings not to allow the passage of oil tankers into Iran.  

The ministry, however, did not specify a reason for the move.  

It remains unclear whether the suspension is linked to U.S. sanctions on Iran.  

Last month, Iranian Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif visited Iraq and the northern region, where he said "no sanctions will affect relations between Baghdad and Tehran".  

The trade exchange between Iraq and Iran stands at $12 billion, while officials say the two sides will work to increase the figure to $20 billion annually.  

In January, the U.S. State Department announced a 90-day exemption to allow Iraq to continue payments for electricity and gas imports from Iran.  

In August 2018, the U.S. re-imposed the first round of economic sanctions on Iran, which mainly target the country’s banking sector.  

In November of the same year, Washington imposed a second round of sanctions, targeting Iran’s energy sector.

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