News ID: 103828
Publish Date : 18 June 2022 - 21:48

BAGHDAD (Dispatches) -- An Iraqi politician has called on the government to open a probe into reports that shipments of crude oil have been smuggled out of the country’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region to the Israeli-occupied territories.
“The smuggling of oil from Kurdistan to Tel Aviv, which is being carried out under the supervision of ruling parties in Erbil, is no longer a secret. Three oil tankers are now operating for such a purpose in Turkish ports, and the whole process enjoys the full support of the Turkish government,” independent Kurdish politician Othman Hassan Pasha told Iraq’s Al-Maalomah news agency on Friday.
Erbil is the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
Pashas said Turkey is involved in the procedure in exchange for large financial discounts, noting that between 40,000 and 80,000 barrels of crude oil are estimated to arrive at Israeli-occupied ports per week.
“The smuggling of oil, which floods the treasury of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) with millions of dollars every day, has adversely affected the lives of millions of Kurds in light of a stifling fuel crisis,” he added.
“Kurdistan is on the verge of an outburst of public anger against ruling authorities as a result of illegal smuggling of their natural wealth, which has left millions of people in destitution and pushed up the prices of basic commodities.”
According to a Financial Times report, more than two-thirds of the occupying regime of Israel’s oil is imported from the Iraqi Kurdistan region.
The Kurdistan Regional Government has repeatedly denied that it deals directly or indirectly with the Zionist regime, with KRG officials pointing out that oil cargoes often change hand several times before reaching its final destination.
Italy, France and Greece are reportedly big buyers of Kurdish crude, using pre-pay deals brokered by large oil trading companies, the FT reported.
Last month, Iraq’s parliament passed a law that makes it a crime to
normalize ties with the occupying regime of Israel, and violations of the law can be punishable with a death sentence or life imprisonment.
Iraq has never recognized Israel and Iraqi citizens and companies cannot visit the occupied territories.
The new legislation also entails risks for companies working in Iraq and found to be in violation of the law, which applies to all Iraqis, state and independent institutions, as well as foreigners working in the country, according to a text carried by the Iraqi News Agency (INA).
The new legislation came months after a controversial conference was held in Iraq’s Kurdistan, promoting the normalizing of ties with the Zionist regime. The conference took place last September and followed in the footsteps of other Arab countries that signed the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords on normalizing relations.

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