Iraq set to import Kirkuk oil to Iran
Iraq has agreed in principle to import oil from Kirkuk to Iran, Iraq's Oil Ministry said on Friday.
The deal would see 30,000-60,000 barrels of oil exported to Iran's Kermanshah province, Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said in a statement.
"The [Iraqi] government aims to carry out oil and strategic projects with Turkey, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Syria," al-Luaibi said, adding that the oil to Iran would be sent by truck.
He added that the number of barrels exported to Iran per day would increase after new pipelines are set up.
In October, Kirkuk's lucrative oil fields were seized from Kurdish Peshmerga control by Iraqi government forces.
Peshmerga militias had held the oil fields in the disputed territory since 2014.
Iraq took military action to seize parts of the country's autonomous Kurdish provinces following a controversial referendum on Kurdish independence that took place on September 25.
Baghdad had warned the Kurdish Regional Government in Erbil against holding the vote, however it went ahead and resulted in an overwhelming majority of voters backing independence.
Iran, fearing the vote would inflame the separatist aspirations of their own sizable Kurdish population, backed Baghdad in strongly opposing the referendum vote and result.
At Iraq's request, Iran closed its borders in northern Iraq and halted all flights there and back.