Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Project IV

This post is about a funny set of events, funny in my view, that was supposed to help my friend M. E., in the old country, for the project that he was working on, or perhaps he still is working on! I'd call it Project IV and in case you wonder what has happened to Project I and Project II, and also Project III, I will write about them in separate posts as they all were with the same person. None has led to any result! 
M. E., my friend from the university days (we used to hang out mostly after we were graduated) told me about Project IV, and that's the name I've given it, nearly two months ago. He said that they were negotiating to fabricate a Cryogenic Tank, or maybe two for a client in the city of Basra in Iraq. For the ones who don't know much about Basra, I will explain this part of the world a little bit. 
Basra or Basrah, is a major city in south of Iraq and close to Persian Gulf. It's a majority Shia city. Shia is one of the two major sects of Islam. Basra was aimed by Iranian forces during the last years of Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) but they were never able to capture the city despite the fact that the majority of Basra people are Shia and it was expected that they rise against Iraqi Army to help Iranians. It is nearly 30 km (19 m) away from Iran-Iraq border. The catastrophic Operation Karbala 4 in December of 1986 was designed to attack southern Iraq, push the Iraqi forces back and hopefully capture that city but the operation was blown before it was started and the incompetent commanders insisted that it should be taken place! Yes! The Iraqi Intelligence, with the aid from Americans and Iranian traitors of MKO had discovered the reediness and preparation of Iranians for the operation and the Iranian commanders were notified of the upcoming disaster. The commanders ordered the volunteer forces of Basij whom many were frogmen, to attack. Many of them were killed and many more were captured alive and executed! No one has ever been charged and prosecuted for that in Iran
Iranian volunteer Basiji frogmen participated in Operation Karbala 4 to capture the city of Basra but many were killed and many others were captured alive and executed by Iraqis. This is the remain of one soldier whose hands are, as you can see, tied with barbed wire and executed
But why now after more than 35 years Iranians are getting active in Iraq, the country that they were brutally fighting against?! After Saddam was ousted by Americans in 2003, the country went into a ciaos which still continues. Iran has had the biggest influence in Iraq and that's what the Americans never liked and still don't. And that's why the former president of the US, Donald Tramp ordered Qasim Soleimani to be killed as he was the Iranian commander who did everything for the favour of Iran in Iraq. Other countries have been trying to have their share in Iraq in this situation. For the renovation and reconstruction part, Iranians, mostly have paired with Shia and Turkish and other countries of alike have stepped forward to work with the Sunni. That's why M. E. has been able to enter the negotiation to fabricate a Cryogenic Tank for the city of Basra. My role in this project was to find a company which designs the damn thing. I contacted 7 or 8 company and not one, not even one, stated that they would do that! One idiot, from Saskatchewan, responded to my call after almost a week(!) and stated that they would be happy to help. When I send the information about the project and the specification, with this twist about the location of the project because I knew they'd be freaked out, she said that they were only interested in projects in Canada and North America! I had told them that the project location was somewhere in Persian Gulf and the morons still freaked out! I told her that there was no project in Canada and North America and wished them success! There were companies that they didn't even respond! Their telephone was out of service. I was expecting this in the devastated economy of Alberta and generally Canada but not to that extent. I also contacted a former colleague, an old Caucasian fella, in his 60's, whom I call him Toby here. Toby is an experienced welder and QC Technician who has worked all around the world. He could be as friendly and as pleasant as your closest friend at times and as big as a colossal asshole at another! When I called him to consult on the project, he was very friendly and helpful. He sent me the contact information of at least 5 companies and I appreciated him regardless of the fact that none of them worked. Then I asked him if he would have been interested to go to the job site for the Quality activities, of course when the fabrication is in progress and he stated that he would have been. Then after a few e-mail and call exchanges, he turned to the asshole he is at times! He didn't respond! At the same time M. E. was gone and there was no contact with him for about two weeks! So I wondered if following up with Project IV would be a good idea. The only potential designers for the tank were an Italian company that M. E. had introduced them to me and he knows them from a previous project in the old country and a major fabricator in Canada who was introduced to me by Toby and they indicated that they would only design if they would be given fabrication. 
Location of the city of Basra in south of Iraq. You can see the major Iranian cities close to the border including the city of Khorramshahr, or Khorram-Shahr which was occupied by the Iraqis in the first year of the war. Basra is shown with a big red dot
Now I'm waiting for M. E. to tell me what to do! My main goal of this project has been to, first, learn something, help my friend and then probably have a trip to Iraq! Yes! As much as it might sound crazy I really would like to go to Iraq and particularly Basra to see the city but I have no idea if this ever happen. I will wait for my friend to see what he has done with Project IV so far.
(Photo, top: A Cryogenic Tank is used to store materials, a combination of liquid and gas, mostly liquid in a very low temperature. It looks like a crude oil tank but it is designed and fabricated under a slightly different standard/code, API 620)

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