(Online Course) Contemporary Issues for IAS Mains 2012: The Hindu - Iran Issue Needs Diplomacy, Not Crude Weapon

The Hindu

Iran Issue Needs Diplomacy, Not Crude Weapon

  • By imposing sanctions that aim to throttle Iran’s oil industry and exports, the United States and Europe have embarked on a course of action that is likely to backfire on the West and the immediate region.
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  • Oil as a political weapon was last used by oil producing countries in the 1973 Yom Kippur war.
  • The Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) retaliated by imposing an oil embargo on the West to get Israel to back off.
  • This embargo, in turn, had a lasting impact on both oil prices and global inflation.
  • Saudi Arabia included India in the embargo list because Israel had a consulate in Mumbai, and ordered a halt to oil loadings for India.
  • India’s stake in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has expanded exponentially, in terms of oil imports, human resource exports and remittances. So has India’s vulnerability to any conflict in the Gulf.
  • After the 1973 episode, the OPEC group has, under the influence of Saudi Arabia, never used oil to influence political policy. OPEC Arab members know that if they stop or severely regulate oil supplies to the West, they could influence American policy on Palestine.
  • What is required today is to stop the implementation of sanction measures the European Union (EU) has rashly announced but not fully implemented.

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