Iraq's semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan will sell its oil independently of Baghdad if the national government does not pay the money it owes, the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government told CNBC over the weekend.
Oil-rich Kurdistan, which has historically had a very tense relationship with the rest of Iraq, has been in dispute with the federal government in Baghdad since 2014 over oil exports and budget distribution. For the last year, national government funding for the region has been erratic, amid accusations that the region is selling oil without Baghdad's consent and failing to meet production quotas.
"Either Iraq will commit to the agreement that they have and will pay the Kurdistan region or, in another case, if they don't and fail to pay Kurdistan, then we will be selling our own oil and collecting our own revenue," Masoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, told CNBC from the World Economic Forum in Jordan.
Kurdistan has previously threatened to start independently selling its oil—despite doubts over whether it has the international clout to do so. However, Barzani said Saturday that the region would give Baghdad only "one or two more months" before taking action.