Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said that unilateral sanctions have a negative impact on countries that depend on oil, referring to sanctions imposed by the US on Iran, according to Reuters.

In Qatar, we do not believe unilateral sanctions bring positive effects for crises which must be solved through dialogue and dialogue only, said the Foreign Minister during a press conference following a meeting of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue in Qatar’s capital Doha.

The Foreign Minister of Qatar urged Washington and Tehran to sit down at the negotiating table and seek durable solutions to the crisis, because, he said, the region “can not not suffer other crises “.

Qatar, an ally to the US, is the world’s largest exported of LNG. Since June 2017, it has faced a boycott led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE which accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism, allegations which Qatar has always denied, and criticise its relations with Iran. The boycott is view by Qatar as an attempt to limit its sovereignty and global influence.

In December 2018, Qatar left OPEC, a move perceived as way for the Gas-rich country to bolster its autonomy while avoiding Saudi Arabia’s interference.

Which countries buy Iranian oil?

The eight main buyers of Iranian oil, which the waivers targeted include India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece. The US gave them six months to find alternative source of oil and demanded that they stop their purchases by May 2 to avoid possible sanctions.. Of these eight countries, Greece, Italy and Taiwan have stopped buying Iranian oil. Japan and South Korea have significantly reduce their imports. India, China and Turkey are hoping for the waiver to be extended, with China being the largest buyer of Iranian oil.

Will China and India form an oil bloc?

China and India are the world’s largest importers of oil and the largest customers of the OPEC and therefore have the largest bargaining power.  According to analysts, China and India have a good chance of working together to form a buyers’ bloc in the wake of a US decision. This would mark a significant shift in the power structure in the global energy market.

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Author

Omar Hajjar is a journalist based in the UK. An investigative reporter, he has lived in 3 different countries in the Middle East over the past 10 years.

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