Iraq’s aspirations to increase its oil exports to close to 7 million barrels per day by 2017 drew criticism from the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum. Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh regarded the move, which seeks to make up for the lack of oil exports from his country as a result of sanctions, as “absolutely unfriendly.”
The Iranian Embassy in Baghdad concurred with the opinion of the petroleum minister.
“Iraq’s oil policies will be harmful to the interests of Iran, especially given its aspirations to increase its crude oil exports to compete on the market and to establish a place for itself on the international scene,” Iranian Deputy Ambassador to Iraq Aziz Salihi explained to Al-Monitor. “Iran’s oil exports have gone down due to sanctions from 2.5 million barrels to 1.2 million barrels per day.”
“Iran enjoys good and solid relations with Iraq, and we do not anticipate for this to be compromised because of oil policies,” he continued, pointing out, “We can hold a dialogue with concerned Iraqi parties to establish some sort of understanding in this regard.”
Amid this criticism and fear of increased Iraqi oil exports, the Iranian nuclear deal with the major Western powers has emerged as a promising step toward a powerful economic revival that will be witnessed by the Gulf. It will also spark competition between oil-producing countries in a way that may lead to disputes over shares, granting facilitations and preferences to consuming countries, especially in East Asian countries.
Oil expert Hazem al-Fartousi explained to Al-Monitor that the results of the agreement will have two trajectories. One will be toward quelling the markets from the geopolitical conditions related to the Iranian nuclear file, including the instability in prices it caused. The other will have to do with the return of Iranian [oil] exports, thus increasing the amount of oil available on the market in a way that would bring relative oil stability in Iran. This will also decrease Iranian fears of increased oil exports from Iraq that Tehran spoke of not long ago.