Qatar, one of the richest and notorious nations of the Gulf region, is back in news and this time for hiding information on Gulf attacks. As per an exclusive report released by Fox News, Doha had prior information of the series of attacks on oil tankers in UAE’s territorial waters. The explosives, which attacked the tankers in May this year, were launched by the Iranian militant group, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). IRGC is the same organization that has been designated as an international terrorist outfit by the United States.
The Fox report said, “Credible intelligence reports indicate that the IRGC-Quds Forces Naval unit is responsible for the Fujairah Port attacks, and the elements of a civilian government of Iran, as well as the State of Qatar, were aware of the IRGC’s activities.”
On May 12, two Saudi tankers, a Norwegian and a UAE vessel were attacked near the port of Fujairah in UAE. The series of attacks did not end there as three months later Saudi Arabia’s state-run oil processing unit, Amarco, was hit by drone explosives. Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group, which is battling a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Key questions that arise here are, despite advance knowledge of the attacks why did Doha not inform its allies (US, France, and Britain) about the same.
While it is believed that the attacks were caused due to rising tension between the United States and Iran (as the US imposed sanctions on Iran’s oil exports), but Doha’s involvement in this rivalry remains incomprehensible. It is only when observed closely, the hidden benefit of these attacks to Qatar surfaces.
In terms of contemporary eco-friendly energy resources, natural gas can easily be labeled as a gold mine. Qatar’s state-owned company Qatar gas is the largest producer of Liquified Natural Gas in the world. Its been almost two decades that Qatar gas has been developing the largest natural gas field on the planet, North Field (i.e. since 1999). It made Qatar the world’s first large-scale LNG exporter. It brought massive new volumes of LNG into a market, which unfortunately was not entirely ready for it. Hence the company applied moratorium in 2005. Qatar also produces oil, but the major competition which stands in its way is Saudi Arabia’s Amarco.
Besides its benefits and cost-effectiveness, Qatar gas does not have the market and leadership as compared to Amarco, to grab a greater market share. The world still runs on oil and Qatar wanted to hit the oil supply chain along with attacking one of the largest oil processing units of the world, hence Amarco and gulf tankers got attacked.
The Amarco attack helped Qatar in disrupting the goals of “Saudi Vision 2030″, which majorly focused on evolving the energy sector and moving from oil to gas.
Qatar was trying to kill two birds with one stone. Iran might have pulled the trigger, but it was Doha who laid out the entire plan along with miscellaneous support.
Qatar was aware of the attack on Saudi and Norwegian tankers and an Emirati supply ship near Fujairah port, a vital waterway that connects the Strait of Hormuz to the Indian Ocean, but it chose to stay quiet. It speaks volumes about the ethics and moral inclination of a nation.
Though coming for Qatar, it does not seem surprising as the country has a long history of funding, supporting and sheltering terrorist outfits, especially members of the Islamic State, to establish its dominance in the region. Qatar’s recent act only surfaced its two-faced foreign policy.
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