Shatha Khalil *
It should be noted that most of the sparks of the suffering of the people of Basra, caused by Iran, as the first spark was that Iran cut off electricity supplies contracted about three months ago, in the hot summer, where temperatures exceed fifty degrees 50 C, and the second spark the rise of water salinity, after cutting the supply of the Karun River, and pumping the excreta and polluted water in Marsh al-Hawizah, whose toxins end in the Shatt al-Arab.
There can be no separation between the formation of the new Iraqi government, the explosion of protests and the security situation in the city of Basra, as the struggle between the political blocs is clear, some of them openly calling for the liberation of Iraq from Iranian influence, and those who are calling for closer to Iran and courting to it , and Iran continues to seek support for a formation of a government loyal to it that it does not recognize the US sanctions imposed by the United States, otherwise the situation will collapse economically and politically within Iran, therefore the only remaining haven for Tehran is Iraq, which means that Iran can not withstand in front of the US unprecedented sanctions only by keeping the Iraqi window open to its own influence.
Iran’s attempt to stop Iraqi oil exports:
From the very beginning, Tehran, which is close to total suffocation, is aware that Washington’s determination to stop all its oil exports will cut its only lifeline and lead to a major uprising that will end its regime. The pouring of oil on the fire of Basra’s peaceful protests seems the only and right solution to save it f rom falling into the abyss, through the continuation of oil exports, and keep Iraq destroyed in the grip of its malicious influence.
And the confusion of Iraqi oil exports, despite it is difficult, it represents Iran’s biggest goal , it strives desperately to achieve it because it could force Washington to review its decision to restrict its oil exports.
It can not be ruled out that Tehran and its militias in Iraq are trying to inflame the situation in Basra, to face the possibility of forming a government far from its influence.
Iran will not hesitate to push the explosion to disrupt Iraqi oil exports, which could save its oil exports. The world today finds it difficult to compensate for the imminent decline in Iranian supplies, which currently stands at 2.3 million barrels per day, if they fall to less than one million barrels daily after being restricted in November.
But the confusion of Iraqi exports could put the global economy in a dangerous scenario, and could push prices to unprecedented levels that could exceed $ 150 a barrel because of the lack of additional production capacity for producers to offset the supplies of the two countries.
Disabling Iraq’s oil exports could break Washington’s resolve to stifle Iranian supplies, because US President Donald Trump is already complaining about rising oil prices and pressing OPEC producers to increase production.
Iran’s stifling crisis is worsening day after day, even though it still exports oil, gas and petrochemicals. Today, Tehran has no hope of
Avoiding total suffocation unless it burns Iraq, which is trying to escape its influence.
The people of Basra continue to protest, and the finger pointing to Iran to pollute the Shatt al-Arab through the waste of factories and nuclear reactors belonging to it, as a result of the impact of its waste on the water in Basra, causing high levels of water pollution and poisoning citizens amid silence and neglect of the Iraqi government.
The Human Rights Commission in Iraq announced on August 30 that 18,000 cases of infection were recorded in Basra of all age groups, while some cases included whole families as a result of water pollution stressing to record about 12 cases daily in the whole Governorate.
A few days before the article was written, the Basra Governorate Council submitted a draft resolution declaring the areas suffering from the saline crisis and water pollution areas of disaster according to Law No. (44) of 2013, with the aim of having the legal effects stipulated in the Civil Code.
In all crimes and crises, first you should find out who is the beneficiary of its occurrence, and the crisis of economic sanctions imposed on Iran has emerged as a sign of the collapse of the Iranian currency and the economic, social and political crisis which is the decisive blow to entering the second phase of the American sanctions which means to cut the only economic lifeline for it .
which made Tehran to reach the stage of despair in the possibility of easing the severity of sanctions for the second phase, when even countries opposed to US sanctions, such as Germany, France and Britain, have failed to persuade their companies to continue to deal with Tehran, which has struggled to move away from an unprecedented mass evacuation.
It will mean the formation of an Iraqi government committed to sanctions, doubling Iran’s suffering and possibly accelerating the collapse of the Iranian regime.
Russia and China do not seem to be able to come up with solutions to the Tehran crisis at a time when they are embroiled in disputes and negotiations with Washington over many files, and could slip away from Iran in exchange for understandings that would secure special gains with the US administration.
Basra lives a humanitarian disaster:
Basra pollution was not born today, but it was exacerbated by Iraqi government neglect, the lack of radical solutions to solve salinity problems, the transformation of water into an Iranian water-laden mouth full of salt, chemical waste and the effects of nuclear reactors on it.
“Iran is a country that takes care of its interests and reserves water internally because it owns agricultural land, power plants and factories,” said Basra Provincial Council member Karim Shawak.
Shawak explained that “the waste water for these plants and factories, go to Iraq through Ahwaz and Shatt al-Arab, and this water carries saline and harmful insects, especially those that come out of sugar cane factories.
“The need for the center of Basra province of water only, according to an Italian study was prepared earlier to (50) cubic meters per second, especially in the tongue of Shatt al – Arab, so as to be able to push the tongue of salinity towards the sea, not exceeding at the present time, (30) cubic meters per second, a small amount is insufficient for the needs of Basra.
Waste and remnants of war and vegetation in the Shatt al-Arab from the Iranian side are the bulk of this pollution, which caused the Iraqi government a few years ago, to protest the environmental disaster caused by Iran to Iraq, by diverting the course of the river “Karun”, which was supplying Shatt al-Arab with a huge quantity of water but the issue was overshadowed by pressure from pro-Iranian Iraqi parties.
Sources inside Basra confirm that Iran continues to dump the Bushehr nuclear reactor waste in the waters reaching Iraq, with few water discharges across the Euphrates and Tigris, causing the Shatt al-Arab salinity in addition of other Iranian chemical plant waste.
The pollution rate in the Shatt al-Arab, and the rivers of Basra amounted more than (80%), as laboratory experiments conducted by the local government in Basra a few days ago confirmed that the situation takes more than twenty years to address the pollution rates.
Iran cuts off the waters of the Karun River:
Since 2000, Iran has started to build dams on the Karun River, leading to a decline in the level of the Shatt water and high levels of pollution and salinity in the Ahwaz area adjacent to the Iraqi border. This led to the decrease in the quantities of water reaching the Shatt al-Arab and the diverting of the course of the river to pour in to another river inside Iranian territory.
The rate of water of the Karun River flowing to the Shatt al-Arab exceeded 765 m3 / s in the 1980s, while currently it does not exceed 50 m3. The accumulation of chemical and organic waste has a clear impact on water, at the same time, we did not find any intervention by the Iraqi authorities to prevent the disaster.
An expert and negotiator in the office of water resources in Basra said “The Iranian side has always been elusive in the negotiations between Iraq and Tehran, especially after the drought that struck Iraq, on the opening of the Karun River on the Shatt al-Arab, to reduce the saline tongue that began to creep and take up a large area of Water entering Basra “.
But there are no good intentions from the Iranians, they promise us good things during the negotiations, and when we return to the country, it is the opposite, and this is repeated in every negotiating session, in fact they do not care what happens or what is happening in Basra, as far as the success of their projects and their own interests at the expense of our people in Basra.
As for the health situation in Basra, doctors from the province of Basra confirmed that it is heading towards a real disaster and may turn into uncontrollable epidemics. This requires real and significant efforts at the local and international levels, especially after the cessation of water pumping in a number of large water projects , after the discovery of poisonous algae in them.
The infection of cancerous tumors and kidney failure are increased , according to doctors at Al-Fayhaa hospital in the center of the city of Basra, stressing that they receive throughout the week cases of disease, most of which poisoning and cancer, and Basra is one of the most recorded cities for the infection of these serious diseases.
In 2000, the Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources accused Tehran of cutting off dozens of water tributaries from Iraq and of pumping salty and heavy saline water in the Shatt al-Arab, which led to a drop in water levels in the following years, leading to high salinity, which affected humans, animal and agriculture alike
According to activists from Basra , the continuation of the situation in Basra, as it is now, will push the city to die quickly, in what they considered Iran the most important causes of the destruction of Basra and destruction, on more the one hand, the most recent dumping of hazardous waste causing diseases in a neighboring country.
“International norms reject all that Iran is doing in Basra, especially with regard to the nuclear waste carried by the water entering Basra,” said activist and blogger Nasim Shehab.
Shehab added we have been poisoned over the past years without feeling and to be silent about these disasters by officials makes them partners in this crime we exposed to, corruption led us to this stage , “If we had a courageous government , it would stand up to Iran, and stop it, and prevented it from harming Basra. ”
Economic Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies