Attempts to Distance Iran from Energy Trade in the Region

2022/02/06 | Economy, Note, top news

Strategic Council Online - Opinion: Saudi Arabia has been trying to dominate the Iraqi energy market and move the country away from relying on Iranian gas and electricity, to the extent that Iraqi electricity will soon be connected to the national grid of the Persian Gulf countries. Hassan Hanizadeh – Expert on Middle East affairs

In negotiations between the Iraqi and Saudi delegations in recent weeks it was agreed that Saudi Arabia supply Iraq with electricity through the nationwide grids of the Persian Gulf countries, and over the next five years invest more than 30 billion dollars in fossil and petrochemical energy in Iraq.

Meanwhile, Total Company of France is also expected to invest 27 billion dollars in oil and gas drilling in southern Iraq, which is Iraq’s largest oil contract with a foreign company.

The US plan in West Asia is to exclude Iran from the energy trade among countries of Axis of Resistance such as Syria, Iraq and Lebanon; as in Lebanon, the Zionist regime, Jordan and Egypt are supposed to supply the country with gas and electricity through Syria.

According to the plan, a joint Arab-Israeli complex in West Asia will be formed to keep Iran away from the regional energy market, in order to supply, jointly and with the investment of the Arab countries in the Persian Gulf, energy of some Arab countries aligned with Iran.

By doing so, they want to both deprive Iran of energy exports and reduce its influence in the region. Iran has been considered as a supplier of Iraqi gas and electricity in recent years, and during that period Iraq’s debt to Iran for gas and electricity exports has reached 7 billion dollars, but sanctions have apparently become an excuse for the Iraqi government to refuse to pay its debts to Iran.

The joint efforts of the United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are to gradually reduce Iran’s material and spiritual influence in Iraq under the pretext of supplying energy it needs, and to return Iraq to the pan-Arabism circle.

Since Iraq is in a conflict between religious and ethnic circles, the United States and some Arab countries in the Persian Gulf are trying to distance the country from the circle of religious influence by changing the structure of parliament and government, and gradually reduce Iran’s spiritual influence in Iraq.

Unfortunately, the tendency towards the pan-Arabism circle is very high among the Iraqi political currents, even the secular Shiite currents.

Despite the fact that Shiite currents such as the rule of law led by Nouri al-Maliki, al-Fatah led by Hadi al-Amiri, Asaib Ahl al-Haq led by Qais al-Khazali and Hashd al-Shaabi led by Faleh Fayyaz are trying to remain in the circle of belief, but the declining influence of such currents in parliament has led to an increase in the influence of secular Shiite currents.

On the other hand, the efforts of Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the Sairoon Alliance, due to having a majority of parliamentary seats, could lead to the formation of a government close to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

In addition, there is some sort of partition agreement between the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE with France over control of Iraq’s natural oil and gas resources; because Saudi Arabia is investing mainly in the Sunni areas of western Iraq, while the investment of the large French oil company Total will be made in southern Iraq.

Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the Sairoon Alliance, which won 73 parliamentary seats in the recent elections, intends to re-nominate Mustafa al-Kadhimi to form a cabinet, relying on the help of Arab countries in the Persian Gulf region. Mustafa al-Kadhimi’’s view is close to that of the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the Arab world, and he is trying to stay in the post of prime minister by approaching Muqtada al-Sadr Sairoon Alliance.

The situation in Iraq is now complicated and the Shiite currents, known as the Shiite Coordinating Committee, have been at loggerheads with Muqtada al-Sadr over the election of the Prime Minister and the President, which has made it difficult to form a national unity government.

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