— The Erimtan Angle —

Last year, I posted an entry on the projected Nabucco pipeline which is supposed to neutralize Russia as the premier purveyor of gas to the EU.[1]  Iran has been left out of the project as a result of U.S. pressure, and here is Press TV’s take on the issue: ‘The Nabucco pipeline company has declared its readiness to start land acquisition studies in more than 20 provinces in Turkey (4 March 2012)’.

Is Iran merely trying to convey the message that the Nabucco project is detrimental to Iran’s prospects and that therefore Tehran would welcome its failure. On the other hand, just last week, Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov was in Turkey between 28 February and 1 March, visiting Ankara and Istanbul. Turkey’s President Abdullah Gül even gave his Turkmen counterpart a state medal of honour, saying that “Berdimuhamedow shows a good example of leadership and statesmanship to develop Turkmenistan, a country of strategic importance”. Gül proceeded to wax poetically: “Our common history, culture, religion and our beliefs have made us two states of one great single nation. And with such a notion we are committed to raise our solidarity between our two countries . . . Turkey was the first country to recognize Turkmenistan 20 years ago when the country proclaimed independence. And we are proud to witness the progress Turkmenistan has made since then”.[2]  Such cordial relations between Turks and Turkmen – two people “of one great single nation” – can only lead to firm business connections, it would seem, in spite of Press TV’s assertions that Turkmenistan might not possess sufficient gas for the Nabucco project. In contrast, the news agency Reuters reported as long ago as 2009 that ‘Turkmenistan’s gas deposit [is] considered one of the world’s five largest with reserves up to 14 trillion cubic metres’.[3]  Iran’s attempts to downplay Turkmen reserves might be rooted in the fact that it was ousted from the project by management decisions beholden to Washington. At the same time, Iran had another alternative pipeline planned to circumvent Nabucco: “the Islamic [Republic] has come up with its own energy supply route, as conveyed by AFP and NOW Lebanon: ‘Iran, Iraq and Syria inked on Monday [, 25 July 2011] a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of pipelines designed to deliver Iran’s natural gas to the two Arab nations in the next three to five years and possibly to Lebanon and Europe in the future, local media reported’”.[4]  The unrest in Syria seems to have jeopardized Iran’s best-laid plans. Even though, the main stream media report that the unrest in Syria is nothing but the violent suppression of at first peaceful but now armed protests against the autocratic rule of the Assad family, others seems less sanguine about the events at present upsetting Turkey’s south-eastern neighbour. According to the well-known and always contrary whistle blower Sibel Edmonds, the armed resistance against the Assad regime has been receiving logistic aid and military training since April 2011. Edmonds even goes as far as stating that the U.S. uses its army base in İncirlik as a training facility for the so-called Free Syrian Army and other opponents of Damascus.[5]

The matter of timing is important, as it is not clear how far back the behind the scenes’ negotiations between Iran, Iraq, and Syria stretch . . . the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in late July 2011 was but the culmination of arduous groundwork hidden from view. Intelligence agencies in the West must have been aware of this potentially disruptive pipeline project. The EU, the U.S. and Turkey would be the primary beneficiaries of a failed Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline. Russia, on the other hand, would be somewhat better off with a further weakened Nabucco. Is the as yet undeclared civil war in Syria really nothing but a ruse in the gamble for the expansion of pipelineistan into Europe???  Did the U.S, and possibly the EU, really begin supporting the Syrian opposition last year, by means of activating the U.S. army base in İncirlik, Turkey???  The construction of an Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline would gravely undermine Turkey’s desire to replace Russia in Europe . . . Is Turkey playing a dangerous game for the benefit of continued energy security in Europe???  And now that Putin has been re-elected President of Russia, how will Turco-Russian relations evolve in the light of both countries’ desire to be the EU’s energy provider???


[1] Cfr. “Pipelineistan in Europe: Nabucco, Turkey, and Russia” A Pseudo-Ottoman Blog (06 January 2011). https://sitanbul.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/pipelineistan-in-europe-nabucco-turkey-and-russia/.

[2] “Turkey decorates Turkmen president with state medal” World Bulletin (29 Feb 2012). http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=86537.

[3] “Turkmenistan says finds new gas reserves” Reuters (26 June 2009). http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/06/26/turkmenistan-gas-idUSLQ64249620090626.

[4] Cfr. “Nabucco’s New Rival: Iran-Iraq-Syria Pipeline” A Pseudo-Ottoman Blog (28 July 2011). https://sitanbul.wordpress.com/2011/07/28/nabucco%E2%80%99s-new-rival-iran-iraq-syria-pipeline/.

[5] “Syria, Turkey, and Libya: Exporting Revolution and Resuscitating Awakenings???” A Pseudo-Ottoman Blog (17 February 2012). https://sitanbul.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/syria-turkey-and-libya-exporting-revolution-and-resuscitating-awakenings/.

Comments on: "Nabucco’s Future and Syria’s Convenient Civil War: The End of the Iran-Iraq-Syria Pipeline" (3)

  1. Eimear Fraid said:

    Time is more value than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time. Jim Rohn

  2. […] Nabucco’s Future and Syria’s Convenient Civil War: the End of the Iran-Iraq-Syria Pipeli… by a Turkish blogger. […]

  3. […] Nabucco’s Future and Syria’s Convenient Civil War: the End of the Iran-Iraq-Syria Pipeline by a Turkish blogger. […]

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