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Kurds Reportedly Delaying Oil Deal with Iran

Kurdish authorities are reportedly holding up the final details of an oil agreement with Iran, according to PRESS TV.

Citing information from Rudaw, a Kurdish media group based in the Iraqi city of Erbil, the deal has yet to be finalized, even though it was supposed to have been signed on 4 May.

The pact would grant the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) access to the Persian Gulf in order to ship Kurdish crude abroad. Rudaw mentioned that the offer was allegedly made following a ”series of disruptions” preventing Kurdish oil from being shipped to Turkey’s Ceyhan port on the Mediterranean coast.

“The Iranian government stepped forward to sign the oil agreement with the KRG and for that they have been waiting for three months. But the KRG has remained silent,” said Nazim Dabagh, the Kurdish representative to Iran.

“The KRG should make their decision known ’with a yes or a no’,” Dabagh added, according to Rudaw.

Even though a KRG delegation went to Tehran in April and agreed to sign the pact within a month, Dabagh believed a delay developed due to a “fifty-year deal…between the KRG and the Turkish government for selling oil.”

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Abdullah Akraiy, the general director of Iraq-Iran relations within the KRG, rejected the accusations, and noted that the postponement “has nothing to do with Erbil-Ankara oil agreements.”

“As far as I know, Iran has become silent on this project too,” he added.

According to data from BP, the Kurds are independently developing oil reserves they say may total 45 billion barrels, or around one-third of Iraq’s total deposits.

By Erwin Cifuentes for Oilprice.com

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