Iranian authorities proposed to Iraq a project to reopen the pipeline that crosses Iraq to the Syrian port of Baniyas on the Mediterranean Sea, in view of the growing threat in the Strait of Hormuz, the Iraqi television channel reported Alsumaria, citing a source.
“Tehran once again raised the issue of the oil export project through the pipeline that crosses Iraqi territory and ends at the Syrian port of Baniyas, in the Mediterranean Sea,” the source said.
In this way, he argued, it will be “possible to avoid US sanctions and not use the Hormuz Strait, as there are increasing fears about its closure in case of military clashes between the United States and its allies against Iran.”
According to the media interlocutor, this project was proposed by Iran several years ago, but in 2014, due to the seizure of Syrian and Iraqi territory by ISIS, the activities were halted.
The source said two options are offered: the construction of a new 1,000-kilometer long pipeline, half of which would pass through Iraq, or the repair at the expense of Iran of the Kirkuk-Baniyas pipeline, which has not been operating since 1982.
This pipeline can supply up to 1.25 million barrels of oil per day, the source said.
He added that the Iraqi authorities have not yet responded to Iran’s proposal.
“Iraq believes that this project is not profitable and, in addition, can harm it, since Baghdad can export its oil to the Mediterranean countries through the port of Baniyas without the participation of Iran,” the source said.
In turn, an anonymous deputy from the Iraqi Parliament said that this project would provide not only oil but also gas to Syria and even Lebanon, which could then solve the problem of catastrophic electricity shortages.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran continue to increase since May 2018, following the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan and the imposition of several packages of sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
In addition, the situation in the Persian Gulf area has twitched in recent months after Iran stopped the oil tanker Stena Impero sailing under the British flag in the Strait of Hormuz.
According to Tehran, Stena Impero was arrested in response to the arrest of Grace 1 , the tanker was detained for more than a month in Gibraltar with a shipment of Iranian crude.