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Iraq warns of the dangers of oil trade with the Islamic State

The Iraqi Oil Ministry welcomed, in a statement issued on Wednesday, the decision by the UN Security Council that anyone caught buying oil from the Islamic State (IS), formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria or ISIS, could face sanctions on charges of financing terrorism.

Anadolu news agency quoted the ministry’s statement as saying the following: “The oil ministry welcomes the UN Security Council resolution No 2170 of 2014, published on 15 August 2014, which condemns terrorist attacks in Iraq committed by IS as well as using Iraqi oil resources to finance these crimes.”

The ministry warned international crude oil traders, saying that “Any crude oil exported without the oil ministry’s approval may have been extracted from fields controlled by the IS terrorist organisation,” adding that, “the only official company licensed by the oil ministry to sell Iraqi crude oil is the State Oil Marketing Company (SOMO).”

The statement continued: “Any crude oil exported from any source other than the licensed state marketing company is unlicensed and may help to finance terrorist acts”. The ministry urged “buyers and marketers to take caution that engaging in unauthorised deals may subject them to sanctions for helping to finance terrorist acts.”

The ministry expressed concern of “reports indicating that IS uses revenues generated from smuggled crude oil to finance its terrorist operations”.

The ministry said it joins the Security Council in its “condemnation of these acts and strongly calls on all member countries of the UN to take cautious measures to prevent the export of smuggled crude oil from Iraq into their territory”.

IS, supported by Sunni rebels, has waged attacks on the regions in the northern and eastern provinces of Iraq, seizing control of large areas there.

Meanwhile, the US air force began earlier this month launching air strikes against IS sites in Iraq, its first major combat operations since US troops withdrew from Iraq in January 2011.

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