By William F Engdahl and cross-posted from New Eastern Outlook
There is a hidden thin red thread connecting the recent US Congress’ sanctions against Iran and now the Russian Federation, with the decision of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies to sanction Qatar. That red thread has nothing to do with a fight against terrorism and everything to do with who will control the largest natural gas reserves in the world as well as who will dominate the world market for that gas.
For more or less the past Century, since 1914, the world has been almost continuously at war over control of oil. Gradually with the adoption of clean energy policies in the European Union and most especially in China’s agreeing to significantly cut CO2 emissions by reducing coal generation, itself a political act not a scientific one, as well as advances in natural gas transport technologies, notably in the liquefaction of natural gas or LNG, natural gas has finally become a globally traded market like oil. With this development, we now are in an era not only of wars for control of major oil reserves around the world. Now we have the dawn of the age of natural gas wars. Fasten your seatbelts, ladies and gentlemen.
In terms of geopolitical actors, no political power has been more responsible for launching the recent undeclared gas wars than the corrupt Washington cabal that makes policy on behalf of the so-called deep state interests. This began markedly with the Obama Presidency and is continuing with a vengeance under the current Trump-Tillerson dog-n-pony show. Donald Trump’s recent trip to Riyadh and Tel Aviv to nudge along the idea of a Sunni Arab “NATO” to fight “terrorism,” which Washington now defines as Iran, has ignited a new phase in the emerging US global gas wars
Burning the house to roast the pig
The Trump Administration policy in the Middle East–and there is a clear policy, rest assured–might be compared to that of the ancient Chinese fable about the farmer who burnt down his house in order to roast a pig. In order to control the emerging world energy market around “low-CO2″ natural gas, Washington has targeted not only the world’s largest gas reserve country, Russia. She is now targeting Iran and Qatar. Let’s look more closely at why.
I’ve written before about the infamous meeting on March 15 2009 between then-Qatar Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani in Qatar with Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, at that time still considered a reliable friend of the Emir. Reportedly when Sheikh Hamad proposed to Assad construction of a gas pipeline from Qatar’s huge Persian Gulf gas field through Syria’s Aleppo Province on to Turkey aimed at the huge EU gas market, Assad declined, deferring to his long-standing good relations with Russia in gas issues and to not wanting to undercut Russian gas exports to the EU with Qatari gas.
That Persian Gulf gas field, the Qatari part called North Dome and the Iranian called South Pars, is estimated to be the largest single gas field in the world. As fate would have it, the field straddles the territorial waters between Qatar and Iran.
Then in July 2011, reportedly with Moscow’s nod of approval, the governments of Syria, Iraq and Iran signed a different gas pipeline agreement called “Friendship Pipeline.” That agreement called for construction of a 1,500 km long gas pipeline to bring the untapped vast Iranian South Pars gas to the emerging EU market via Iraq, Syria and to the Mediterranean by way of Lebanon. That pipeline is obviously on hold since NATO and the Wahhabite reactionary Gulf states opted to destroy Syria after 2011. They opted to destroy Assad and a unified Syrian state through various false flag terror entities they have variously named Al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria, then called the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, then simply IS, or in Arabic DAESH. For NATO and the Gulf Arab states a Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline would have changed the energy geopolitical map of Eurasia, and the political influence of Iran over Saudi Wahhabite domination.
Not surprising, when the mysterious ISIS exploded onto the scene in 2014, it moved to occupy Aleppo where the pipeline to Turkey from Qatar was planned. Coincidence? Not very likely.
The proposed Qatar-Syria-Turkey-EU pipeline (blue) would go through Aleppo Province and the alternative Iran-Iraq-Syria (red) via Lebanon to the EU gas markets.
The year 2011 was the point that Qatar began pouring as much as $3 billion into her war against Assad, backed then by Saudi Arabia and the other Sunni Gulf Arab states, and then also by Turkey, which saw its geopolitical European and Asian gas hub ambitions vanishing. The very next month after announcement of the Iran-Syria “Friendship Pipeline” agreement, in August, 2011, in the UN Security Council the US demanded that Syria’s Assad step down. US Special Forces and CIA began covertly training “Syrian opposition” terrorists recruited from around the Sunni Wahabite-influenced world at secret NATO bases in Turkey and Jordan to drive Assad out and open the door for a Saudi-controlled puppet regime in Damascus friendly to their gas pipeline ambitions with Qatar…