Baghdad has accused the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq of withholding billions of dollars in oil payments.
Iraqi authorities said on April 2 that Kurdish officials are smuggling crude oil and petroleum products for sale abroad under unilateral deals.
The accusations come amid a dispute about oil export payments meant to be shared under a deal between Baghdad and Kurdish regional officials.
On April 1, the Kurds halted oil exports that pass through Baghdad-administered territory, saying the Iraqi government has failed to send any money to them since May -- even though the region had been exporting 50,000 barrels of oil per day.
Tensions between Baghdad and the Kurdish region have risen since October when Exxon-Mobil announced an oil exploration deal in the Kurdish-administered north.
Baghdad dismisses the deal as illegal.
With reporting by Reuters, AP