Friday, September 05, 2008

The influence of China and Iran in Iraq

Iraq photo by w:Christian Peacemaker Teams

Azzaman, on 3 September 2008, at writes that Iraq is said not to be in favour of U.S. firms developing its oil fields

According to Azzaman:

1. Sources at the Iraqi oil ministry say that Iran is pressuring Iraqi authorities to exclude U.S. oil majors from contracts to develop the country’s massive oil fields.

2. The sources at the oil ministry say the authorities currently favour Chinese and Russian companies rather than those of the United States.

3. In August 2008, the oil ministry signed a $3bn services contract with China’s state-owned oil firm CNPC. This relates to the Ahdad oilfield which CNPC originally agreed to develop in 1977.

China is the first country to win such a contract since the 2003 U.S. invasion of the country.


4. In 1977 Russia signed a deal to develop one of Iraq’s largest fields, West of Qurna.

5. The Ministry of Oil and other key portfolios such the Ministry of Interior and Finance are in the hands of pro-Iran Shiite factions.

Analysts say it is difficult today for any major development, whether economic or political, to take place in Iraq without Iranian consent.

6. Iran has emerged as the country’s top trading partner. Its firms are present in the Kurdish north and southern Iraq carrying out projects worth billions of dollars.

Iranian goods are the most conspicuous merchandise in Iraqi shops.

7. Iraq, though occupied and administered by America, has grown to be so pendent on Iran that some analysts see it as a satellite state of Tehran.


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