Trump’s record of being wrong about virtually everything continues to grow, with yet another lie about who is controlling the oil in the Middle East. First he said that ISIS controls the oil in Iraq (they don’t), then he said they control the oil in Libya (they don’t), and now he bizarrely claims that Iran controls the oil in Iraq.
Trump, June 5: So, I was against the war a long time ago, and it destabilized the Middle East. And that’s exactly what I said was going to happen. I also said Iran will take over Iraq, because we ruined the balance of those two militarily. We destroyed — we knocked out one of the two balancing prongs. And Iran is taking — as sure as you’re sitting there, Iran is taking over Iraq. They’re taking over the oil. They’re taking over everything.
Uh no, they aren’t taking over Iraq. Not even close. And they don’t control the oil either.
Donald Trump falsely claimed Iran is “taking over the oil” in Iraq. Experts told us Iran does not control any Iraqi oil fields, and we could find no evidence of it.
In fact, despite its political instability, Iraq produced and exported a record amount of crude oil last year, and it has reclaimed smaller oil fields in northern Iraq that had been taken by the terrorist Islamic State group, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS.
“Iraq’s oil is still the property of the people of Iraq,” said Jim Krane, a fellow at the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University who is an expert in geopolitical aspects of energy…
“Iran is not taking over any Iraqi oil fields,” Pollack wrote to us in an email. “If it means that Iran has its personnel there running them, then NO. If it means they are taking the oil and selling [it] themselves, then again, NO. None of that is happening.”
Krane, of Rice University, agreed that the current instability in Iraq doesn’t mean that Iran is “taking over the oil” in Iraq, as Trump claimed.
“The fact that there is Iranian influence in neighboring Iraq is a long way from Iranian control over the Iraqi oil sector,” Krane said.
The country has contracts with international oil firms — mostly big-name companies such as Shell, BP and Gazprom — to maintain and operate the oil fields, Krane said. And it has been successful. Iraq last year set a record for oil production and exports, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Krane said he is not even aware of any Iranian companies working in Iraqi oil production.
“Iraq’s oil is still the property of the people of Iraq. It is produced by Iraqi and international firms, often under production sharing agreements,” Krane said. “To my knowledge, there are no Iranian firms directly involved in Iraqi oil production. It is possible that Iran-based contractors are working in the Iraqi energy sector, but if they did, they would be in minor roles alongside firms from many other countries including the United States.”
Trump is like a richer version of Dick Morris — if he says it, it’s almost certainly false.