Will energy agreement with Iran save Qatar’s collapsed economy

In an attempt to save the Qatari gas industry from complete collapse due to the global outbreak of the Covid-19 corona virus and its impact on the only industry that keeps Doha afloat economically, the Iranian authorities announced that Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian and Qatari Minister of Industry and Trade Ali Al-Kuwari have reached a bilateral cooperation agreement in the fields of energy and investments.

The Qatari economy is completely suffering due to the outbreak of the virus, as global demand for gas has decreased, which threatens many countries whose economies depend mainly on gas exports, at the forefront of which is the Doha regime.

According to a statement from the International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers (GIIGNL) on Wednesday, April 8, global demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) will shrink at record levels this year in light of the corona pandemic.

In February 2020, Reuters quoted private sources as saying that Qatar has suspended its companies with some institutions to expand natural gas production due to the price collapse, which suggests that the regime in Doha will resort to its Iranian ally to save its deteriorating situation.

It is also likely that the Qatari-Iranian cooperation agreement will replace deals that have negatively affected the Qatari economy, namely gas export contracts to Beijing, as China has reduced its dealings in the region due to the pandemic and its attempts to control the situation.

Qatar is an Iranian tool

The official Iranian news agency IRNA reported on the video conference meeting between the two ministers on April 17. Iran’s energy minister praised Qatar for sending medical aid to his country in response to the corona virus pandemic, noting that Qatar Airways transported medical aid from other countries and international organizations to Tehran for free. Ardakanian also announced Iran’s desire for bilateral cooperation to exchange medical expertise in the fight against the corona virus.

For his part, Kuwari announced Qatar’s readiness for the necessary cooperation with Iran in this field.

Saudi political analyst Sami Al-Basheer Al-Morshid posted on Twitter on Friday, April 17, saying that Qatar remains a tool in the hands of the Arab world’s enemies. He added that if Iran wants to tamper with any Arab country, it summons Doha, and if Turkey wants to interfere in the domestic affairs of any Arab country, it coordinates with Doha.

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Doha has been resorting to Tehran to import goods to cover the growing shortages following the Arab boycott imposed on it by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain since June 2017. Foodstuffs and construction materials constitute approximately 73% of Iranian exports to Qatar.

In 2018, the joint Iranian-Qatari Chamber of Commerce announced its target to increase commodity exports to Qatar to $900 million in 2020; however, trade volume between the two countries had only reached $70 million prior to the Arab boycott.

In February 2020, Qatar and Iran agreed to expand bilateral relations. Director General of International Affairs at the Iranian Ministry of Cooperatives Ali Hossein Shahrior said that the third meeting of the Joint Committee of Iran’s Ministry of Cooperatives and Qatar’s Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs witnessed both parties agreeing to expand cooperation in the fields of exchanging skilled workers, experts, labor relations and labor market policy, stressing that there is a practical will to enhance cooperation, according to IRNA.

Meanwhile, official Qatari media is always devoted to claiming that Qatari-Iranian relations are in the interest of the region. On January 13, Qatari newspaper Al Sharq said Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s visit to Iran and meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on January 12 came within the framework of discussing developments in the region and ways to reduce tensions and protect regional and international security, peace and stability.

Source » theportal-center

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