Let a thousand conspiracy theories bloom. But the common sense explanation is that it’s hard to threaten a country with a boycott if you’re already boycotting it.
A Iraqi-Kurdish crude oil tanker docked in Israel on Saturday night.
The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) has been looking for a client to buy its tanker oil, after the Iraqi government threatened legal action against any buyers who purchased Kurdish oil independently and not through the Iraq central government, according to a Reuters report on Friday.
The SCF Altai was loaded with oil barrels from the Turkish port city of Ceyhan, the final destination of a disputed pipeline designed by Kurds to bypass the Iraqi government. The Kurdish Regional Government’s pipeline, according to Reuters, is currently pumping around 120,000 barrels per day to Ceyhan. The region’s natural resources minister is aiming to export 400,000 barrels a day by the end of the year, Reuters said.
Iraq already boycotts Israel, and won’t sell oil to the Jewish state, so Israel is not overly concerned with Iraqi threats of sanctions, unlike other countries who have oil contracts with Iraq.
Iraqi parliamentarian Abad el-Mahdi al-Hafaji said in response to the report, “The export of oil from Kurdistan to Israel is treason to Iraq, the Arab nation, and to the Palestinian cause.”
The question is whether Maliki will be able to get Obama to pressure Israel into not buying Kurdish oil. At the rate things are going, I wouldn’t be too surprised if that were the outcome.