Observer. 20 April 2003. Israel seeks pipeline for Iraqi oil.
WASHINGTON -- Plans to build a pipeline to siphon oil from newly
conquered Iraq to Israel are being discussed between Washington, Tel
Aviv and potential future government figures in Baghdad.
The plan envisages the reconstruction of an old pipeline, inactive since
the end of the British mandate in Palestine in 1948, when the flow from
Iraq's northern oilfields to Palestine was re-directed to Syria.
Now, its resurrection would transform economic power in the region,
bringing revenue to the new US-dominated Iraq, cutting out Syria and
solving Israel's energy crisis at a stroke.
It would also create an end less and easily accessible source of cheap
Iraqi oil for the US guaranteed by reliable allies other than Saudi
Arabia - a keystone of US foreign policy for decades and especially
since 11 September 2001.
The revival of the pipeline was first discussed openly by the Israeli
Minister for National Infrastructures, Joseph Paritzky, according to the
Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz .
The paper quotes Paritzky as saying that the pipeline would cut Israel's
energy bill drastically - probably by more than 25 per cent - since the
country is currently largely dependent on expensive imports from Russia.
US intelligence sources confirmed to The Observer that the project has
One former senior CIA official said: "It has long been a dream of a
powerful section of the people now driving this administration [of
President George W. Bush] and the war in Iraq to safeguard Israel's
energy supply as well as that of the United States."
James Akins, a former US ambassador to the region and one of America's
leading Arabists, said: "After all, this is a new world order now. This
is what things look like particularly if we wipe out Syria. It just goes
to show that it is all about oil, for the United States and its ally."
Akins was ambassador to Saudi Arabia before he was fired after a series
of conflicts with then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, father of the
vision to pipe oil west from Iraq.