“Most of Iran's exports go to the Iraqi Kurdistan region, not the central government,’ the Iranian official told ILNA.
Speaking to ILNA news agency, the Spokesman of Iranian Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Products Exporters’ Union (OPEX) Seyed Hamid Hosseini says Iraq central government has the refining capacity for 700,000 barrels of oil per day and it has set standards of euro 4 and 5 for imports of the oil products but it is not ready to purchase oil products from Iran due to the U.S. sanctions.
The Iranian official said that in the first half of the year, Iran’s exports to Iraq were around $2.9b while the figure in the first five months of the year was just $560m but after reopening of borders, exports to Iraq were accelerated and the figure rose significantly.
He added that gasoline topped Iran’s exports to Iraqi Kurdistan and electricity, construction materials, foodstuff, chemicals, petrochemicals and industrial items were Iran’s other major exports to Iraq.
The Spokesman then elaborated why the major part of Iran’s exports are to Iraqi Kurdistan rather than the central government, saying that Iraq oil ministry is not ready to buy Iran oil products due to sanctions and it buys its needed products from India and Europe but this year it has decreased its imports of oil products due to the Coronavirus pandemic and currently the central government of Iraq has daily refining capacity of 700,000 and it has set standards of euro 4 and 5 for imported oil products.
Hosseini added that so Iraqi Kurdistan is Iran’s major customer, adding that the major exports in the past ten years have been destined to Iraqi Kurdistan and the trade with the central government has been insignificant.
He added that Iraqi Kurdistan has its own laws and regulations and regarding the sanctions, it has received some waivers and acts based on them. He reiterated that Iraqi Kurdistan does not usually ban imports of goods but it regulates its trade policies with levying tariffs and whenever it decides to stop import of some goods, it increases the tariffs and it does not slap ban like the central government of Iraq.
Hosseini reiterated that the gasoline which is produce in Iran is with octane ratings of 87 and 91, and it is the most high quality gasoline in the region.
He said most of euro 4 gasoline produced domestically and in Persian Gulf Star Refinery is consumed domestically, and one cannot find gasoline with such a quality in the region and no country but India produces gasoline with euro 4 and 5 standards.