An Arab separatist movement from the Khuzestan province of Iran has claimed responsibility for two pipeline bombings in the western province. The group has warned that it will launch more attacks on Iran’s energy infrastructure in the coming year.
Middle East Monitor (MEMO) cited The New Arab as claiming that the pipeline attacks occurred near the towns of Omidiyeh and Deylam, both in the Ahwaz-speaking region Khuzestan.
According to OilPrice.com, the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz (ASLA) has accredited its armed wing, the Brigades of the Martyrs al-Nasser Mohiuddin, for carrying out the attacks. While the group has claimed that the bombings caused major damage and fuel loss, the reports have, however, been denied by Iran’s Interior Ministry.
A statement posted on ASLA’s website states that the first attack was on the Aghajari Oil and Gas Production Company’s Maroun pipeline, which transports 440 000 bpd. The second pipeline that the group has claimed to attack transports 60 000 bpd from the Baharkan oilfield.
Asharq Al-Awsat reported that the bombings were a response to an announcement made by Iran’s Oil Ministry, that it has selected 29 international companies to bid for new oil and gas projects.
The Jerusalem Post wrote: “Ahwazi Arabs are a minority in mainly ethnic Persian Iran, and some see themselves as under Persian occupation and want independence or autonomy.”
ASLA says that its aim is to fight for the independence of the Arab Ahwazi minority. MEMO reports that the group “calls for Arab self-determination and liberty from what it says are racist Iranian government policies that discriminate against Arabs.”
Mohiuddin Brigades stated that oil and gas revenues from the two targeted fields are used to “fund the Iranian regime’s brutal oppression of the Ahwazi people and other Arab peoples regionally.”
This is not the first ASLA attack. The armed group has attacked Iranian energy infrastructure (including oil installations) for decades for its cause. Moreover, OilPrice.com highlighted a 2016 attack where another militant group attacked two pipelines in the Kuzhestan region.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldpipelines.com/business-news/05012017/iranian-oil-pipelines-attacked/