Iran Deepens Its Influence in Iraq (Daniel 8)

An oil facility west of Karun in Iran. File photo: IRNA

Iran deepens oil ties with neighbor Iraq

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Oil capacity at a joint Iran-Iraq on the southern borders will increase by 50,000 barrels per day.

Managing Director of Iran’s Petroleum Engineering and Development Company has stated that production capacity at Karun currently stands at 300,000 barrels per day and it is expected to reach 350,000 barrels by March 21.

Karun is in Iran’s Khuzestan province, which borders Basra in Iraq.

Noureddin Shahnazizadeh, the managing director, added that the development of joint oilfields was pursued immediately after the 11th government came to office.

President Hassan Rouhani was re-elected Iranian president in May 2017.

The petroleum ministry has announced it will prioritize development of its South Azadegan, North Azadegan, Yadavaran, South Yaran, North Yaran fields, while Iraq has announced further development of the South Pars block.

Iran has been trying to attract hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of foreign investment for its energy sector, following the landmark Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) signed in 2015 with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.

The deal provided sanctions relief in return for limiting Iran’s nuclear activities.

While Iraq aims to rebuild its infrastructure following the 2003 US invasion, subsequent al-Qaeda insurgency, and fight against ISIS, its oil ministry announced in Kuwait on Thursday that the country aims to increase oil production from 5 million bpd to 7 million bpd by 2022.

Iraq sought $88 billion for projects at the Kuwait conference to rebuild infrastructure. Iraq got less than a third of that.

While countries were quick to “pledge,” “invest,” or “loan” funds to Baghdad, no business deals were signed at the three-day conference in Kuwait, according to The New York Times.

Iraq has also benefitted from the control of Kirkuk and other disputed oil fields since its October incursion and takeover of areas which have nearly halved the revenues of the Kurdistan Region, according to the KRG.

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