only would Iraqi oil be supplied to Israel -
but Israel would be payed a commission for Iraqi oil
being sold from Haifa!
seeks pipeline for Iraqi oil
Ed Vuillamy in Washington
April 20, 2003
US discusses plan to pump fuel to its regional
ally and solve energy
headache at a stroke
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
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.
Until 1948, the pipeline ran from the Kurdish-controlled
city of Mosul to the Israeli port of Haifa, on its northern
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.
has been quietly
renewed every five years,
with special legislation
the US stocks a strategic
oil reserve for Israel
even if it entailed
- at a cost of $3 billion
(£1.9bn) in 2002 to
US intelligence sources confirmed to The Observer that the project
has been discussed. 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
'The Haifa pipeline was something that existed, was resurrected
as a dream and is now a viable project - albeit with a lot of building
The editor-in-chief of the Middle East Economic Review , Walid
Khadduri, says in the current issue of Jane's Foreign Report that
'there's not a metre of it left, at least in Arab territory'.
To resurrect the pipeline would need the backing of whatever government
the US is to put in place in Iraq, and has been discussed - according
to Western diplomatic sources - with the US-sponsored Iraqi National
Congress and its leader Ahmed Chalabi, the former banker favoured
by the Pentagon for a powerful role in the war's aftermath.
Sources at the State Department said that concluding a peace treaty
with Israel is to be 'top of the agenda' for a new Iraqi government,
and Chalabi is known to have discussed Iraq's recognition of the
state of Israel.
The pipeline would also require permission from Jordan. Paritzky's
Ministry is believed to have approached officials in Amman on 9
April this year. Sources told Ha'aretz that the talks left Israel
James Akins, a former US ambassador to the region and one of America's
leading Arabists, said: 'There would be a fee for transit rights
through Jordan, just as there would be fees for Israel from those
using what would be the Haifa terminal.
'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. In 1975, Kissinger
signed what forms the basis for the Haifa project: a Memorandum
of Understanding whereby the US would guarantee Israel's oil reserves
and energy supply in times of crisis.
Kissinger was also master of the American plan in the mid-Eighties
- when Saddam Hussein was a key US ally - to run an oil pipeline
from Iraq to Aqaba in Jordan, opposite the Israeli port of Eilat.
The plan was promoted by the now Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld,
and the pipeline was to be built by the Bechtel company, which the
Bush administration last week awarded a multi-billion dollar contract
for the reconstruction of Iraq.
The memorandum has been quietly renewed every five years, with
special legislation attached whereby the US stocks a strategic oil
reserve for Israel even if it entailed domestic shortages - at a
cost of $3 billion (£1.9bn) in 2002 to US taxpayers.
This bill would be slashed by a new pipeline, which would have
the added advantage of giving the US reliable access to Gulf oil
other than from Saudi Arabia.