The announcement this week, that the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government) has entered into an
agreement, whereby a substantial portion the region's crude oil output will be exported through Iranian port facilities. This move, which has been opposed by the central government of Iraq, as it violates existing law, drew a negative American response, due to global sanctions against Iran.
Apparently, US influence upon the KRG, a nominal US ally, is insufficient to deter it from trading with Iran. America appears to have no leverage with the KRG, which has developed a close relationship with Iran. Some of the issues:
(1) US dollar currency is shipped, in bulk, from the KRG financial structure, into Iran, which greatly assists it in paying for goods and services on the global market. The cash also allows the dollar to be widely used as an alternative currency inside Iran, by the civilian population, as a hedge against the declining value of the Riyal.
(2) Direct trade, between Iran and the KRG, is assisting in propping up the troubled Iranian economy.
(3) The KRG president, Barzani, who attended the installation of Iran's new president, has moved closer to senior leaders in Iran, since US troops left Iraq, which troubles American foreign policy planners.
(4) Money laundering, of Iranian profits, in KRG banks, is out of control, and the United States has absolutely no method of disrupting it. Anti-money laundering compliance in the KRG is a joke, when it comes to servicing Iranian clients.
|The nephew of the president of the KRG, and the former President of Iran|
The United States appears to be helplessly watching the KRG fall into the Iranian orbit, and the planned shipment of Kurdish crude oil is but one more nail in the coffin. America may have protected, and guided, Iraqi Kurds, for years, but the thank that they have received is more like a slap in the face, as the KRG becomes more and more of a close ally of Iran.