Iraq VP Claims Entire Disputed Oilfield as Iran Row Continues

Nebulous Border Remains a Matter of Contention

Tensions over an abandon oil field along the ill-defined border between Iran and Iraq continue to linger, weeks after what Iraqi officials called an “invasion” renewed interest in the al-Fakkah oil field.

Iraqis initially claimed that the specific oil well involved in the dispute was on Iraqi territory, but the two nations have been unsuccessfully negotiating a shared development plan for awhile. That likely will be halted however, as Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi now insists that not just the oil well, but the entire al-Fakkah field are “100% Iraqi property.”

Iranian forces left the disputed well soon enough, having destroyed what they called an “illegal barrier” erected by Iraqi forces previously. But troops remain apparently on alert at the border, and in greater numbers at least on the Iraqi side.

Hashemi expressed “disappointment” that the United States hadn’t been more vigorous in defending Iraq’s newfound claim to own the entire oil field. So far US officials have called the matter something for Iraq and Iran to work out diplomatically. Iran also claims much of the field as its own, and has even tried (unsuccessfully) to sell development rights to some of the disputed wells.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.