US Permits Iraq Oil pipeline to Iran
The Financial Times reports that the Interim Governing Council has concluded an agreement with Iran to build a pipeline across the Shatt al-Arab. The US civil administrator, Paul Bremer, is said to have approved the plan. The US has faced severe financial problems in Iraq, slowing the rebuilding process and permitting continued high unemployment. Stabilizing Iraq has to be the highest priority of the Bush administration before Nov. 2, and so obviously they won’t stand in the way of any step that will bring in big money at this point. The pipeline from Kirkuk to Turkey is still closed because of repeated sabotage, but the south has been more secure in this regard.
What burns me is that the IGC is not an independent government, but is rather an appointed organ of the Bush administration. In allowing the Iran pipeline, Mr. Bremer is de facto contravening the US economic boycott on Iran. It is as part of that boycott that the Department of the Treasury is threatening to lock up American editors who edit scholarly submissions from Iran for publication in the US! It is all right for an organ of the Bush administration to sell Iran billions in petroleum, but God forbid a penniless editor should strike out a comma from an Iranian scholarly paper.