Iraq remains the key cover through which Iran transports its oil to the rest of the world, as has been well-documented by , so the news last week that Iraqi and Egyptian officials have discussed the possibility of extending the Basra-Aqaba pipeline to Egypt as this would be “an important addition and a new outlet for Iraqi oil exports to North Africa” (according to representatives of the two negotiating teams) should be read in this light. It should also be read in terms of the overall strategy for the expansion of influence of Iran – backed by China in the wide-ranging 25-year deal – not just across the Shia crescent of power in the Middle East but into eastern and northern Africa as well. A key to this expansion is the roll out of an integrated network, based around oil, gas, and electricity supplies, that allows for not […]