Iran-Iraq Pipeline comes with Major Environmental Costs

By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. 

On July 21, farmers complained about a gas pipeline dredging their farmlands. The pipeline carries gas from Iran to Baghdad through Bismayah, which is located in southeast Baghdad.

Meanwhile, reports on May 22 revealed that the pipeline caused damage to an archaeological site under which it passes.

On March 17, 2016, Iran announced the completion of a 100-kilometer (62-mile) Iranian gas pipeline. It starts at the South Pars gas field and continues to Baghdad to provide fuel for the electricity stations. As part of the project, the Oil and Energy Committee of the Iraq Council of Ministers decided to extend the pipeline through Bismayah to provide gas for electricity stations there.

Many residents in Bismayah were happy at first. However, their happiness did not last as they were forced to vacate parts of their land for the project. According to testimonies documented in a video report broadcast by an Iraqi channel on May 22, a farmer said that a military force stormed onto his land and forced him to accept the extension of the pipeline into his land without providing any documents, which he considered a violation of his rights and of applicable laws.

On July 12, Al-Monitor contacted the Nahrawan police directorate, which said, “The security force securing the site has orders to protect the project of extending the Bismayah gas pipeline and remove any constraints that may hinder its accomplishment.”

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