Kurdish politician Shaswar Abdulwahid, the leader of the New Generation Movement, said in a September 10, 2019 interview on NRT TV (Iraqi Kurdistan) that large amounts of oil are being transferred out of Kurdistan, and he said that nobody knows how much oil is being sold, to whom, and at what price. He explained that the oil goes to Turkey, after which he said nobody knows where it goes. When asked if the oil goes to Iran, Abdulwahid answered that the two oil export operations from Kurdistan are through the Ceyhan Port pipeline in Turkey and by means of what he said are hundreds of tanker trucks that go to Turkey and Iran.
Interviewer: Many people in Baghdad and in the other governorates say that the Kurdish government smuggles a large number of oil barrels out of Kurdish territory. Do you have details about this? Where does this Iraqi oil go? To which countries? To which groups?
Shaswar Abdulwahid: I need to correct the term “smuggling.” Smuggling means taking something abroad without people knowing or in secret. But in Kurdistan, the oil is being transferred openly and for all to see, including the citizens, the central government, and the international community. Nobody knows the actual quantity of the oil, to whom it is sold, and at what price.
Interviewer: You don’t know where the oil goes?
Shaswar Abdulwahid: We only know it goes to Turkey. From there, nobody knows. Some say that there are tanker trucks going to Iran. There are two operations to export oil from Kurdistan. One is through the pipeline that goes to Ceyhan Port in Turkey. The other is by means of tanker trucks that go to Turkey and to Iran. Oil is exported by tanker trucks. If you go to the border – whether through Penjwen, Haji Omeran, or any other crossing on the border [with Iran] – you will see with your own eyes hundreds of tanker trucks that go to Iran on a daily basis. They go to Turkey as well.