Hossein Danaei Far in an interview with the site of Strategic Council Online pointed out the remarks made by the Iraqi Minister of Oil that the UK British Petroleum is reviewing the exit from Iraq, and said:” Exit of some oil companies from Iraq already started a few months ago, likewise, after the fall of Saddam, most of the US oil companies left Iraq because of economic and security reasons.
He pointed out the remarks made by Iraqi Minister of Oil who had said atmosphere and environment of investment in the country is not suitable to keep major investors there. So, they are looking either for another market or another partner. He said:” those companies have concluded that their presence in this field is not economical cost effective and therefore, they are ready to transfer projects.
In view of the geo-political importance of Iraq, the analyst (Mr. Danaei Far) emphasized the strategic importance of Iraq for China and added:” Chinese had already been present in Iraq from very old times and during Saddam period in oil filed in the context of relatively effective compounds. But recently and in line with their policies based on boosting their presence in Western Asia, they struggle to win projects directly. Within the past seven years, they succeeded to take projects directly from Iraqi government in Southern parts of the country.
Danaei Far added:” As China is interested in developing these projects, naturally with the exit of big Western companies, she would replace them”.
He called the economic as well as political-security issues as the problems of oil companies active in Iraq. Concerning the more active presence of China in Iraq, he said Iraqis are also interested in having good relations with China.
Former Ambassador of Iran to Baghdad added:” Developing relations with Russia during Mr. Maleki and boosting relations with China was seriously put in the agenda during Mr. Adel Abol Mahdi, when Memorandums of Understanding of long term cooperation were signed based on which Iraq was to sell 100000 barrels of oil to China per day, and the money is kept in a joint fund to finance $ 500 billion for Chinese investments in Iraq.
Having stated that in view of their Middle-East policies, Chinese are interested in working with Iraq, he then spelled out:” One should wait and see, in view of the security conditions of the country, how China is going to proceed with her economic projects? However, China has already expressed her willingness to upgrade economic presence in Syria too. A number of analyses have been tabled to justify the development of “One Belt-One Road” project. It seems that China has entered into Iraq consciously. Iraq can also secure and maintain her sustainable security. Moreover, new opportunity and horizon in this field are created for a joint cooperation among Iran, China and Iraq.
On the impacts of Chinese presence in Iraqi oil projects on the country’s economy and security, he emphasized that:” although China has already involved herself into Iraq’s power plant sector and oil projects but they still have not managed to leave enough efficacy in energy and oil fields. Indeed, China has made limited investments at present situation in Iraq. In order to make changes in bilateral relations and internal atmosphere of Iraq, they should boost the volume much more than what we see now.
In the meantime, former Ambassador of Iran to Iraq commented about the impact of more extensive presence of China in Iraq on Baghdad – Washington relations and said:” It seems that Iraq is looking for a kind of balance in her relations with (major) powers, because they have defined their strategic relations with the US too.
Danaei Far continued:” Iraq is yet, interested in creating a kind of balance in relations with powers at international level, and in addition to China, the US and EU, make a kind of balance with Russia too. Making endeavor to create a balance with regional powers can also be seen in Iraq’s behavior.