Iraqi Kurds’ Oil-Boom Puts Self-Sufficiency Within Reach As Leadership Cozies Up With Iranian Regime

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Arlington, VA

Although Iraq’s semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan is currently engaged in a war against the Islamic State and faces massive sectarian tension with neighboring lands, the Kurds are getting closer to reaching economic independence through its booming oil revenues.

 Earlier this month, the Kurdish government reached a preliminary trade deal with Iraq that would allow for the delivering of oil exports and an agreed upon revenue split. “The KRG will play its full role in helping Iraq to meet its energy export targets,” Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami told a London conference this week. He added, “We have set ourselves clear targets for self-sufficiency, so we will never again face the violence of economic threats and embargoes on our region.”

Hawrami said he was “hopeful for the first time” that a deal could be reached with Iraq to secure the Kurd’s economic future.

The Kurdish Resources Minister predicted that their oil shipments would expand  to 500,000 barrels per day by the end of the 2015 first quarter. Kurdish oil exports are currently around 400,000 barrels per day.

Separately, Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region is continuing to strengthen its partnership with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said Wednesday.

Barzani said in a press statement that he hopes Erbil and Tehran can continue to secure bonds. “We will continue to strengthen our relationship with our eastern neighbor Iran,” Sir Jeremy Greenstock, former UK ambassador to the UN, said on behalf of the Kurdish PM at a conference in London.

It remains unclear how a continuing Kurdish-Iranian partnership would affect the Kurd’s continuing relationship with the United States and its allies. The Iranian regime remains by and large the foremost purveyor of Islamic terrorism worldwide. Iran has for some time publicly backed the genocidal Assad regime in Syria, and has provided aid and military support for terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah.