The Caspian Sea proves rich for regional strategy

The US supports Turkmenistan's renegotiation of its access rights with Afghanistan, Pakistan and India via the TAPI agreement. Photo: Pakistan (Adobe).

In this article, energy strategist, Mohamed Kharkan, looks at the relationship Iran and Central Asia has to oil. This follows the previous article he penned. There will be more articles to follow.

The legal issue of the Caspian Sea had to be resolved so that Russia, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan could exploit its oil and gas resources. Europe received gas from two countries, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. However, Britain, which has invested more than 50% in the Nubucco pipeline, did not allow Russia to operate it. Europe imposed sanctions on Russia.

Europe declared that its gas must be transported from Ukraine, even if Ukraine had not paid for its transport for years and owed billions of dollars. Russia later invaded Ukraine without any international authorisation and annexed Crimea.The Crimea region is where the so-called valve of the gas pipeline to Europe is located.

The US supports Turkmenistan's renegotiation of its access rights with Afghanistan, Pakistan and India via the TAPI agreement.

A peace agreement was signed between the countries a few years ago. This time, the US had a contract to implement the Nubuccco pipeline and work in Afghanistan. Wounded Pakistan had not bought Iranian gas for years, which had been piped to its border, so that this transit route could be implemented. 

Afghanistan  became insecure again. But the Taliban is fighting again. The Arabs said that this time Iran was supporting the Taliban.

Iran reached an agreement with Azerbaijan last year. Azerbaijan, with the support of China, guaranteed oil and gas supplies to northern Iran. It also undertook to participate in the production of oil in the Caspian Sea and the transfer of Iranian gas through the Nabucco pipeline to Europe.

However, the US and the Arabs were not satisfied with the most recent Caspian agreement. But they were in military control of the Persian Gulf route and have dragged Yemen to the ground in order to take control of the Bab al-Mandeb Strait. (Later we will see that Iran controls the Bab al-Mandeb Strait in Yemen under the pretext of defending the oppressed and the Husseins'). The military deployed troops, and the Quds Force of Iran immediately sets up a military camp in Yemen. Now Europe opened a new strategic path for itself in the form of the Nabucco pipeline, and transferred oil from the Caspian Sea. Or maybe it is a route for transporting Iranian gas in the event of a conflict in the Persian Gulf, or US sanctions on Iran?

The opening of this route resulted in a new waterway transporting goods and hlD HEL FUL PSIEC and gas  The Caspian littoral states are=celebrated .Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic also happy because they  are buyers of the gas.The balance of power was upset.Suddenly, the US made Turkey insecure.Then Qatar  provided financial assistance.

Qatar is the world's largest exporter of liquified natural gas (LNG), after Australia. Turkmen gas supplies to Europe do not hurt Qatar's traditional gas market. What historical role will Turkey plays? Turkey also supports Iran's accession as a participant to the Nabucco pipeline, given the benefits of gas transit. What is the next step? Perhaps the formation of a strategic union  between the Caspian littoral states to the Black Sea?

In the following chapters, that will be serialised over forthcoming days, the story of the Syrian conflict, Iran's role in defending the government of of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the formation of the Defenders of the Shrine (this is a phrase that the Iranian government uses for their advisers and military personals who are fighting in Iraq and Syria in defence of the Shia holy shrines),  the role of Qasem Sardar Soleimani, an Iranian military officer in the region and his assassination in 2020, and the explanation of the modern Silk Road project will be explained.

The  provisions of this project will be outlined and the question asked as to why, strategically, the 25-year Iran-China agreement, is only for the survival of propping up the system and is against national interests.

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Friday, 24 September 2021