Iranian troops enter Iraq and seize oil well - Energy stocks like XOM, BP, CVX, CHK all spike on the news.
Iranian troops enter Iraq and seize oil well December 18, 8:48 AMLouisville Democrat ExaminerTimothy Morgan
According to the AFP, Iranian troops entered Iraqi territory on Friday and seized an oil well.
The reports say that the troops took control of the area and raised an Iranian flag over the Fakkah oil field. According to US military spokesmen, the troops stayed for several hours and then simply withdrew back across the border.
Officials from the government in Iraq are down-playing the incident, asserting that the oil well is on disputed border territory between the two nations, and largely neglected by both.
Deputy Interior Minister Ahmed Ali al-Khafaji told the Reuters news agency that, "This field is disputed and now it is neglected by both sides. There was no storming of the field. It's empty, it's abandoned. It is exactly on the border of Iraq and Iran."
Surely such an incursion is nothing more than an attempt by the Iranian government to provoke the US. For the last few weeks Tehran has said it will step-up its nuclear efforts after negotiations at the six-party talks broke down.
Iran is also charging three American hikers with espionage with no evidence. This is also felt to be a shot at the US over its opposition to Iran's nuclear program, which the US says Iran wants for nuclear weapons. Iranian officials maintain that the nuclear program is for civilian energy purposes only.
As tensions continue to mount, one may question how far the US is willing to allow Iran to go with its provocation, especially in light of this incursion into Iraq as the US military is withdrawing from the country.