US approves opening of Iraqi oil pipeline with ''terrorist-linked'' Iran
Despite tense relations between the US and Iran, the occupying Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) has backed plans for Iraq to connect its oil supply to Iran with a new pipeline.
CPA officials in Baghdad have confirmed that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) had been agreed between former foes Iran and Iraq, reported Financial Times. The two nations fought a bitter decade-long war in the 1980’s.
"We have agreed in principle to an offer from Iran to build a 10 kilometer pipeline across the Shatt Al-Arab to the Iranian port of Abadan," said Iraq's Minister of oil Ibrahim Bahr Al-Uloum. "We faced no objection from the United States."
Relations between Tehran and Washington have been strained since US President George Bush declared Iran as part of an "axis of evil", alongside Iraq and North Korea, two years ago. Bush has accused Iran of seeking to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and of supporting terror. US oil majors have been under government pressure to end their operations in Iran. As a result ConocoPhillips recently pulled out of the country.
According to Al-Uloum, the pipeline will be established by the end of the year. The project is expected to relieve the bottleneck at Iraq's main Gulf port of Basra and boost exports to two million barrels of oil per day (bpd) by the end of the month. The port is currently loading approximately 1.6 million bpd. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)