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Country Risk

Iran's Ahwazi Arab separatists pose elevated risk of low-level attacks on pipelines in Khuzestan province

05 January 2017

EVENT

Iran's Ahwazi Arab separatist group, the Arab Struggle Movement for Liberation of al-Ahwaz (ASMLA), claimed on 3 January 2017 that it had simultaneously blown up the Maroun and Baharkan pipelines near Omidiye and Deylam, in oil-rich Khuzestan province.

It also released low-quality footage, purportedly showing one of the explosions. IHS Jane's cannot independently verify the video's authenticity.

An interior ministry spokesperson denied the group's claims. Nevertheless, Ahwazi Arab separatists operate in Khuzestan province and have a history of intermittently targeting vulnerable sections of pipeline since 2005, using crude improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

ASMLA said the attacks were in response to the oil ministry's approval of 29 international companies bidding for projects in Iran's energy sector the previous day.

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