KRG denies alleged oil smuggling to Iran

Renewed war of words between Baghdad and Erbil, sparked by The New York Times report on crude smuggling, could escalate ongoing feud over oil sector control.
KRG denies alleged oil smuggling to Iran
Oil tankers fill up at the Tawke oil field in June 2008. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)

BAGHDAD - In response to a weekend news article claiming a rampant black market is sending raw and refined products from Iraqi Kurdistan into Iran via tanker truck, the top Kurdish oil official said there have been no illicit exports of crude.

"To the best of my knowledge there is no crude oil ever being smuggled," said Ashti Hawrami, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) minister of natural resources, in a phone interview from Erbil, the KRG capital.

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