Secret plan for Kurdish Oil Pipeline Through Iran May Soon Be Reality
An oil pipeline from Iraqi Kurdistan through Iran to the world has the potential to change the balance of political power, with both the Kurdish and the Iranians benefitting. But Turkey is apparently not so keen.
A pipeline bringing oil from Iraqi Kurdistan to Iran, and then onto the Persian Gulf: it’s an idea that could change the economic and political balance in the area. And it’s an idea that has been floated before, albeit unsuccessfully.
But after an October 2015 visit to Iran by Nechirvan Barzani, the Prime Minister of the semi-autonomous northern region, and the easing of Western sanctions against Iran, a pipeline via Iran is looking closer to becoming a reality.
On March 2, Iraqi Kurdistan’s representative in Iran, Nazem Dabbagh, returned to Iraqi Kurdistan to meet with Barzani. A letter had been sent to the Iraqi Kurdish government asking them to seriously consider the idea of a pipeline and NIQASH has heard that the pair discussed the issue at their meeting. A positive response was sent back to Iran and apparently now preliminary talks are being held on the new cooperation between the two.
There has also been talk about Iranian loans to cash-strapped Iraqi Kurdistan, which, like the rest of Iraq, is teetering on the brink of an economic breakdown.
The pipeline itself is not a new idea. Rumour has had it that there’s been a confidential agreement between Iraqi Kurdistan’s two major parties on the subject of pipelines since 2010. The Kurdistan Democratic Party, or KDP, is traditionally, diplomatically closer to Turkey and would build a pipeline that could take Kurdish oil to the world through that country.