Iranian Claims to Durra Field Cross the Line

Article Summary
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have protested Iranian claims to sovereign rights of the Durra Field, a maritime zone rich in hydrocarbons which lies between the three countries. Mohammad Ibn al-Shaibani argues that the weakness in Iran’s claims are easily exposed by maps of the continental shelf, first drafted in the 1960s by Royal Dutch Shell.

Based on the maritime border division (the continental shelf) on Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell)’s map dated 1964, Iran is only entitled to develop 3% of the natural resources of the offshore zone. The remaining 97% of the resources are located in the Saudi-Kuwaiti Neutral Zone. However, Iran has demarcated new maritime borders at its own discretion. It wants to prove that the bulk of the Durra field falls within its borders.

Iran seeks to provoke ill feelings among the Gulf states, particularly Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Like Iran, many others have tried to create animosity between the countries of the Persian Gulf, especially following the establishment of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which was approved by the Gulf countries unanimously. Iran was furious. It thus claimed that it owned the majority of the Durra field in an attempt to distract the Arab countries form the momentous events unfolding in the region!

The Gulf countries will not be shaken by Iran’s recent sabre-rattling and show of strength in an attempt to intimidate them. Undoubtedly, such actions will push Arabs to turn to the US for arms, which has already occurred: A deal on missiles was struck with the UAE, while Saudi Arabia was provided with F-15 fighter jets.

Iran's muscle flexing reminds us of [late Egyptian President] Gamal Abdel Nasser’s military parade. His missiles Al-Zafer, Al-Qaher and Al-Nasser were overrated. Their capabilities were exaggerated and they were never found following the death of Abdel Nasser.

Iran is following the same strategy in a different way. It wants to intimidate us with the Khomeini revolution its nuclear program, which it claimed it was destroyed by an American computer attack intended to cripple the system. This is not to mention the different missiles with various names and formidable capacities that it claims to possess. For all its saber-rattling, Iran, swollen with pride, is unaware that it does not stand a chance against the West, including America. It seems that the Islamic Republic overlooked the US military’s clout and its technological superiority. These [American-made] weapons destroyed Abdel Nasser's aircraft before they even took off in the early morning hours [during the Six Day War in 1967]. Not to mention the American Stinger missiles which were used by the Afghan rebels against the Russians. From that time, the balance of power was tipped in favor of the Afghans. Russia was resoundingly defeated. These missiles are still perfectly effective.

The Zoroastrian Persians are just like the tyrant Syrian authorities; they are still living in the distant past. They want to drag us down with them. But even before their rulers, the people of the Gulf reject the autocratic Iranian state.

The Durra field is Kuwaiti and Saudi according to the map of the continental shelf, and not based on Iran’s ancient Zoroastrian mentality!

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