By John Lee.
Kurdistan's Minister for Natural Resources, Ashti Hawrami (pictured), has hit back at reports that the US has warned oil companies not to sign any oil deals with Kurdistan without Baghdad's approval or Baghdad may take legal action against them.
According to AKnews, Hawrami described the media reports quoting Nuland as "baseless ….These are [nothing] but propaganda… by some people who yearn for the US to make such [comments].
"The US has never made such a statement and has not told us, as the [Kurdistan] Regional Government, anything."
The full text of the US spokesperson's comments can be read here, and appears to support Hawrami's position.
The minister went on to say that the region is ready to export oil after Eid al-Fitr, the deadline for Baghdad to pay the suspended dues of foreign oil companies.
He warned that if Baghdad fails again to pay the dues "the region will make its own decision."