Crossfire War – Huge Explosion at Tunisian Oil Refinery – Tehran’s Timing

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Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – Mediterranean – Energy Theatre: Tehran – Tunis/Rome – Vienna – Geneva; Tehran Causes Tunisian Oil Pipeline Explosion – Preparation for Crude Oil Price Increase

Night Watch: BIZERTE – Reuters reports that an explosion, caused by a fire, had damaged the oil pipeline in Bizerte in northern Tunisia on the Mediterranean. The cause of the fire is unknown but I suspect this is Tehran’s way of stimulating the price of crude oil as part of their strategy to inflict economic crises in the industrialized world. While every analyst is justifiably concerned about Tehran disrupting the oil industry in the Persian Gulf, Iran has decided instead to first cause disruption in the Mediterranean just as they could along the Suez Canal using al-Qaeda bases in the Sinai Peninsula.[ASHARQALAWSAT]

The pipeline and terminal is controlled by the Tunisian state owned refinery of STIR (Societe Tunisienne de l’industrie de raffinage) that operates at a capacity of 30,000 barrels per day. This is not a huge amount but noticable and again is quite possibly the first of a series of “accidents” agents of Tehran have been instructed to carry out, as OPEC is currently meeting as it discusses reduction in daily production. Zouheir Khelifi, who lived in the Intitaka neighborhood of Bizerte stated, “A huge explosion rocked the oil pipeline from the refinery to the port that feeds ships docked there. More than 200 families from our neighborhood left home.”

The refinery, the only one in the country, serves Tunisia’s main oil field in the southwest, al Borma. Officials at the Energy Ministry refused to comment on the possible impact of the explosion and damage. Managers at STIR also declined to comment.

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Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.