RI Fears Iran Nuclear Crisis Will Strike Economy

As part of efforts to ease the tension in Iran and avoid another economic catastrophe, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono met with seven foreign envoys in Jakarta to brief them on the Indonesia's position on the crisis.

RI Fears Iran Nuclear Crisis Will Strike Economy

The Indonesian government will be intensively involved in seeking a peaceful solution to the nuclear crisis in Iran, following concerns the dispute could trigger higher global oil prices, which would harm the country's economic recovery, an official says.

Allowing the crisis to develop into a major conflagration would have a negative economic impact on all developing nations, Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda said.

"Our involvement in seeking an amiable solution is not without sufficient grounds. If we do not do anything we are afraid the crisis will evolve into something that could disturb our economy," Hassan said Tuesday.

Crude oil prices reached above US$68 a barrel over the jitters, steadily rising to a record high last August of $70.85. According to analysts, oil prices could skyrocket to above $100 if there is no immediate and peaceful solution to the crisis.

Iran produces 4.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil and exports 2.7 million bpd, mainly to China, Japan and Europe. As the second largest producer after Saudi Arabia in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Iran has oil reserves estimated at 125.8 billion barrels, some 10 percent of the world's total.

Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest economy, was severely affected by rising oil prices last year, causing the government to cut its fuel subsidy as well as trim its economic growth target.

As part of efforts to ease the tension in Iran and avoid another economic catastrophe, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono met with seven foreign envoys in Jakarta to brief them on the Indonesia's position on the crisis.

The seven envoys were Renaud Vignal of France, Joachim Broudre-Groger of Germany, Matthew Rous (charge d'affaires) of the United Kingdom, Bernhard Zimburg of Austria, Mikhail M. Bely of Russia, B. Lynn Pascoe of the United States and Lan Lijun of China.

Hassan said President Yudhoyono urged these countries to go "the extra mile" to negotiate a peaceful solution to the crisis.

"Through the meeting, Indonesia expects these countries to forward our standpoint and consider our thoughts during the Feb. 2 meeting of the United Nations Security Council," said Hassan, adding that Indonesia would only support Iran's nuclear program if it was for peaceful purposes, not military ones.

The U.S. and several European countries want China and other nations to vote on whether to refer Iran to the Security Council during an emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Indonesia and China sit on the IAEA's 35-nation board of governors -- along with Russia and India.

Tehran is currently locked in a dispute with the United States and Europe, which want to bring the nuclear case to the Security Council.

Rendi Akhmad Witular, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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