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Obama Ushered Qatari Advances Toward Energy Dominance

Obama Ushered Qatari Advances Toward Energy Dominance
Last month, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed foreign ambassadors at a Ramadan dinner in Ankara, Turkey. Erdogan has voiced support for Qatar in its dispute with Saudi Arabia and other nations, saying no one will benefit from the policy of isolating the oil-rich nation. (Presidential Press Service/AP)

Tawfik Hamid By Friday, 21 July 2017 09:44 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

President Donald J. Trump has clearly accused Qatar of supporting terrorism. He has asked them to cease their funding for terror groups. Many have wondered why Qatar would support terror organizations — especially those in the Mideast. To answer those questions, it is important to look at several geopolitical dimensions both in the Mideast as well as globally.

This dilemma can be viewed more clearly when we begin in Europe, a region where the EU's needs for energy continue to expand. These resource requirments will likely grow even more in succeeding decades. The EU is trying to fulfill its energy needs in many ways, inclusive of alternative forms of energy. Yet, until alternative energy sources can effectively and efficiently supply growing energy needs of the European continent, Europe will continue to be heavily dependent on products of the oil and gas industries. 

As Harvard University professor Mitchell A. Orenstein, and George Romer, wrote in Foreign Affairs, Russia currently supplies Europe with a quarter of the gas it uses for heating, cooking, fuel, and other needs.

Russia's takeover of the Crimea, and its continued support for rebels in a brutal Civil War in Ukraine have significantly altered Europe's mindset when it comes to relying so heavily on Russian energy.

Qatar owns two-thirds of the largest natural gas field in the world,  yet it can’t fully capitalize on it because it relies on tankers to deliver it to other countries. This makes its gas more expensive than Russia’s.

Qatar’s plans were first put forward in 2009. They involved building a pipeline from the Persian Gulf via Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, and Turkey. It was hoped the pipeline would provide cheaper access to Europe but Syrian President Bashar al Assad, possibly with pressure from Russia, refused to grant permission for the pipeline to go through his (al-Assad's) territory.

The first move in this chess game for Qatar was to remove al-Assad from power and to replace him with a loyal Sunni regime so that they can extend the pipelines to Turkey.

Several countries were also interested in deposing al-Assad from power for several reasons. Saudi Arabia, for example, wanted to remove him to weaken the expanding Shia Iranian influence in the region — which threatens the kingdom.

Several European countries also were interested in removing al-Assad from power to allow Qatar gas to reach them through the proposed pipelines. Qatar tried to achieve their mission of removing al-Assad via supporting violent jihadi and terrorist organizations in Syria.

The other part of the Qatari chess game was to use a well-known chess tactic which is to weaken — as much as possible — the "pieces"of one's opponent(s), or if you prefer, competitors. Qatar attempted to achieve this by supporting the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in both Egypt and Libya, in an effort to gain full control over the very promising energy resources of these countries. According to The New York Times, Eni’s company has discovered one of the biggest natural gas resource in the Mideast in Egypt. Additionally, Libya, is considered to have one of the highest fracking potentials (recoverable shale-oil) in the world.

When controlling these countries (Egypt and Libya), through the Muslim Brotherhood failed, Qatar supported terrorist groups in both countries to create a state of chaos so that these countries cannot fully compete with Qatar in the European market.

Additionally, by supporting the Islamic State (Sunni) in Iraq, Qatar impeded the possible Iranian gas access to the Mediterranean Sea through Shia controlled countries (Iraq and Syria).

The Obama administration was very supportive of removing al-Assad from power as well. Why? Possibly to allow the Qatari gas to reach Europe with a cheap price to suppress the investments in the American fracking industry, which threatens the European alternative energy mission. Obama had already made several decisions to fight the growth of fracking in the United States. 

Allowing cheap Qatari gas to reach Europe would simply aid — and bolster — Barack Obama’s energy agenda.

On the contrary, President Trump supported the fracking industry in the U.S. to help improve the American economy. This may explain why removing al-Assad was not one of his first or top priorities. In fact, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson clearly declared, "What happens to Assad is Russia’s issue, not the U.S. government’s."

The Obama administration's Iran Nuclear Deal opened yet another opportunity for Qatar to sell its natural gas via Iran, then Turkey, to reach Europe.

It seems that the Obama administration was so determined to fight U.S. fracking to the degree that when they realized removing Assad from power is not an easy task, they removed sanctions on Iran in order that cheap Iranian and Qatari gas can reach the EU through Turkey. Iran has land borders with Turkey!

Additionally, this assumption is supported by the fact that Qatar recently shifted 180 degrees toward Iran so it can sell its natural gas to Europe.

It might seem strange to see Qatar standing fiercely against a Shia regime in Syria (the al-Assad regime) and then very suddenly ally itself with another Shia regime — in Iran.

This puzzle can be solved when we realize that both political positions will help Qatar reach the European energy market with competitive pricing.

When we add to this complex situation to the fact that Qatar is a very close ally to the Muslim Brotherhood, we can only start to see the tip of the iceberg of the true influence of the MB in the world, and how their desire for world domination is a very real one.

If we imagine, for few moments, what can happen if the Muslim Brotherhood (via Qatar) controlled the future energy supplies of the EU and how the decisions of the Obama administration fit exactly with their agenda of Islamic domination, one must question the true global influence of such an Islamic organization.

Dr. Tawfik Hamid is the author of "Inside Jihad: How Radical Islam Works, Why It Should Terrify Us, How to Defeat It." Read more reports from Tawfik Hamid — Click Here Now.

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The Obama administration's Iran Nuclear Deal opened yet another opportunity for Qatar to sell its natural gas via Iran, then Turkey, to reach Europe. The Obama administration removed sanctions on Iran in order that cheap Iranian and Qatari gas can reach the EU through Turkey.
oil, natural gas
Friday, 21 July 2017 09:44 AM
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