Mar 03, 2017

Iraqi Turkmen: Prospective Iran-Iraq Oil Agreement Raises Suspicions in Kirkuk Province

Photo courtesy of Kurdistan24

The Iraqi Turkmen of Kirkuk and the Kurdistan Regional Government are concerned that an impending agreement between Baghdad and Tehran, which envisages exporting oil through Iranian territory, will severely affect their communities. The plan would likely include a pipeline between the two countries for the purpose of exporting Kirkuk oil. Local officials from both groups are wary that Baghdad will make a unilateral decision, as they have not yet consulted with any members of the province, and will deny local groups their fair share of the oil proceeds.


The article below was published by Kurdistan24:

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Turkmen of Kirkuk are concerned about the Iran-Iraq deal to export Kirkuk oil to Iran.

On Tuesday (28 February 2017), Falah Mustafa, head of the KRG’s Department of Foreign Affairs told Kurdistan24 that Baghdad cannot unilaterally decide on Kirkuk.

According to the Iraqi Constitution and the signed agreements, Baghdad should not make a unilateral decision on Kirkuk without the KRG’s notice and participation because those areas are protected by the Kurdistan Region security forces, Mustafa said.

The Iraqi Oil Ministry in a statement on February 20 announced that Iraq and Iran have signed a memorandum of understanding to build an oil pipeline to export Kirkuk oil through Iran.

The memorandum of understanding signed by both countries’ oil ministers emphasizes on resolving the dispute over the joint oil fields on Iraqi-Iranian border and studying the oil exports to Iran.

In addition, Hassan Turan, Deputy Head of the Turkmen Front in Kirkuk viewed the concern of the city’s Turkmen, stating that the views of people and representatives of Kirkuk have not been taken into consideration.

Turan questions Baghdad’s intention stating that if Baghdad wants to develop Kirkuk oil fields through exporting its oil to Iran, why the government has not yet established one single refinery in the province.

A Turkmen MP, Arshad Salihi, told Kurdistan24 that the deal over Kirkuk oil with Iran requires more thinking as the topic has not been discussed with the parliament or with the Kirkuk Provincial Council.

Salihi added that even if such decision is made the sensitivity of Kirkuk and the opinion of its people should be taken into consideration.