THE MOST CRUCIAL PIPELINE OF THE MIDDLE EAST? | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


THE MOST CRUCIAL PIPELINE OF THE MIDDLE EAST?

SOURCE: OIL PRICE

Contemporary Middle Eastern history is strongly influenced by energy politics. Besides providing revenue for the state’s coffers, oil is also a potent geopolitical tool in the hands of resource-rich countries. Recently, officials from Lebanon, Syria and Iraq have engaged in talks to restart the dysfunctional pipeline that once connected oilfields near Kirkuk in Iraq with the coastal city of Tripoli in Lebanon. Restarting the pipeline could have long-term political, economic, and strategic consequences for the involved states and the wider region.

THE ART OF THE DEAL
While Iran’s participation in regional politics was necessary for creating the right environment for cooperation, Russia's involvement has proven to be crucial. The Kremlin’s decision to participate in the Syrian civil war on the side of Assad’s forces was a pivotal moment in reestablishing control over territories essential for the Kirkuk-Tripoli pipeline to commence operations. Moscow has also established good political relations with both Iraq and Lebanon to become a broker for facilitating an agreement.

Also, it can be expected that Washington won’t idly sit by while its rivals in Moscow and Tehran entrench themselves even further in the region. Therefore, for now at least, talks of reinvigorating the pipeline will continue behind closed doors until the security situation improves significantly.

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