ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Customs officials at the Parwezkhan border crossing on Monday announced the import and export of oil derivatives between the Kurdistan Region and Iran had stopped, hours after the new round of US sanctions came into effect.
“Economic sanctions taken against the Islamic Republic have halted the trade of oil derivatives from Kurdistan to Iran,” the media and public relations director of the Parwezkhan border gate, Aram Sayahan, told local media.
The second set of US sanctions targeting Iran’s energy, financial, and shipping sectors took effect Monday, November 5.
“Sanctions have not affected the import and export of foodstuffs and other commercial exchanges, which have not been interrupted. We have received no official order stating otherwise so far,” Sayakhan explained.
Late on Monday, US officials clarified a confusion that had emerged about whether Iraq will receive a waiver from the new US sanctions that Washington imposed on Iran.
As a State Department official explained to Kurdistan 24, “A waiver was granted” to Iraq that will allow it “to continue to pay for electricity imports from Iran.”
Eight countries received sanctions waivers: China, India, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey, and South Korea. According to Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, Iraq was not among the countries receiving a waiver, despite earlier reports that it would.
Kurdish authorities had earlier said that they would abide by decisions of the Iraqi federal government in regard to the Iran sanctions.
“The Kurdistan Region is part of Iraq,” Safeen Dizayee, Spokesperson for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), told Kurdistan 24.
“Whatever the federal government of Iraq decides, the Kurdistan Regional Government will implement,” Dizayee said.