Baghdad: Turkey has been "driven by greed" in an escalating row over oil pumped from Iraq`s autonomous Kurdish region and shipped overseas, Baghdad`s top politician responsible for energy said on Sunday.
"We believe Turkey has been driven by greed to try to lay (its) hands on cheap Iraqi oil," Hussein al-Shahristani, deputy prime minister responsible for energy affairs, said in an interview.
"They have facilitated this smuggling, and obviously this has undermined the relationship" between the two countries, said Shahristani, himself a former oil minister.
Speaking from his office in Baghdad`s heavily fortified Green Zone, he continued: "We had reached a fairly good level of cooperation before Turkey`s greed has taken over and allowed itself to help in smuggling Iraqi crude."
Turkey announced last month that oil pumped from the three-province Kurdistan region had been shipped to international markets, dramatically escalating a long-simmering row between Iraq and both Ankara and Kurdish authorities in Arbil.
Baghdad subsequently filed an arbitration case with the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce.