Flames emerge from flare stacks at the oil fields in Kirkuk, Iraq October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
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Iraq and Iran have begun exchanging crude oil, the Iranian Oil Ministry's news agency SHANA said Sunday, in a deal that will position Tehran to expand its interests in its most important Arab ally in the face of growing pressure from Washington.Crude from the Kirkuk field in northern Iraq is being shipped by truck to Iran. After helping Iraq stifle a Kurdish push for independence last year, OPEC producer Iran positioned itself to take control of oil exports from the region's giant Kirkuk field.The swap deal allows Iraq to resume sales of Kirkuk crude, which have been halted since Iraqi forces took back control of the fields from the Kurds in October 2017 .
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