U.S. objects to Kurdish oil deliveries

Sale of oil comes with "serious legal risks."
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   June 11, 2014 at 9:55 AM

WASHINGTON, June 11 (UPI) -- Washington does not support any export or sale of oil from Iraq without consent from the federal government in Baghdad, a State Department spokeswoman said.

Two cargo vessels have left the Turkish sea port of Ceyhan loaded with oil from the Kurdish north of Iraq. United Leadership left port in May and is parked off the coast of Morocco. United Emblem set sail early this week and is positioned north of the island of Crete, Greece.

Neither of the vessels has unloaded their cargo.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said during a press briefing Tuesday the U.S. government has long sided with Baghdad on the sale or export of Iraqi crude oil.

"We don't support the export or sale of oil, absent the appropriate approval of the federal Iraqi government," she said. "This [export] exposes those who are undergoing this effort to potentially serious legal risks."

The semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government said it's acting within its rights, though the federal government says unilateral Kurdish exports are a violation of the nation's constitution.

Psaki said that, in terms of the sale of Kurdish oil, it's up to members of the international community to "make their own decisions."

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