Iraq's Kurds have right to sell oil while squeezed by Baghdad: MP

BAGHDAD Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:42pm EDT

A still image from video taken by a U.S. Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft shows the oil tanker United Kalavyrta (also known as the United Kalavrvta), which is carrying a cargo of Kurdish crude oil, approaching Galveston, Texas July 25, 2014. REUTERS/US Coast Guard/handout via Reuters

A still image from video taken by a U.S. Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft shows the oil tanker United Kalavyrta (also known as the United Kalavrvta), which is carrying a cargo of Kurdish crude oil, approaching Galveston, Texas July 25, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/US Coast Guard/handout via Reuters

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BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's Kurdish region has the right to keep selling oil as long as the Baghdad government keeps cutting its budget, the head of the Kurdish parliament's energy committee said on Tuesday, as an oil cargo off Texas was set to be seized at Baghdad's request.

"The KRG (Kurdish Regional Government) has the right to sell oil if Baghdad continues to cut KRG’s budget, disrupt the livelihood of its people and impose an embargo," Sherko Jawdat told Reuters.

U.S. authorities were set on Tuesday to seize a cargo of crude worth more than $100 million from Iraqi Kurdistan anchored off the Texas coast after a judge approved a request from Baghdad, raising the stakes in the oil dispute between Iraq's central government and the Kurdish autonomous region.

(Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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