Opinion: Canada’s wealth of natural resources now suddenly looks a lot more useful and valuable than it did just weeks ago
Just three days into a new decade Canadians woke up to a new geopolitical reality. The U.S. drone strike in Iraq that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani has raised fears that an escalation of the U.S.-Iran conflict could disrupt world oil supply.
Policy discussions have suddenly pivoted from weaning the world from fossil fuels to hard questions about global and energy security. Some analysts argue Iran will back attacks on oil infrastructure in the Persian Gulf and the rest of the Middle East and maybe even on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure if tensions escalate sufficiently.
The political and even military disruption that could ensue could be considerable. The oil supplies and economies of almost every country could be affected, including Canada’s.
We still buy Middle Eastern oil despite our considerable domestic supplies and, of course, if the world price of oil rises, that affects everyone. The airstrike has reminded us — and it seems many of us had forgotten — that oil and gas resources are still geopolitically important.
The current Iranian regime has disrupted many countries with “proxy wars” — supporting opposing sides in conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, involving itself in disputes in Bahrain, Lebanon, Qatar, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Morocco, and competing more broadly in North and East Africa and parts of south and central Asia.