“The federal government cannot win, because our crude is legally produced, shipped, exported, and sold in accordance with the rights of the Kurdistan region as set forth in the Iraqi constitution,” Minister Ashti Hawrami said in a statement.
The Iraqi federal government filed a petition in a U.S. court in Texas against a shipment of Kurdish crude oil parked off the coast of Texas. The court in turn called on U.S. Marshals to seize the oil should it enter U.S. territorial waters.
“Our policy position remains the same, which is that we believe that oil should be transferred through the central government of Iraq,” she told reporters Tuesday. “But again, this is a case where, because it’s not in our jurisdiction, there’s little we can do at this point in time.”
Hawrami said the semiautonomous Kurdish government has the legitimate right to export oil from the Turkish port of Ceyhan.
The federal government in Baghdad considers unilateral exports of oil to be a violation of national laws.