Let’s talk about power – Tehran Times
TEHRAN – With the onset of the winter season, the UK is now grappling with a huge fuel shortage crisis. Long queues meander through the streets of the UK as drivers struggle to fill their cars, causing widespread traffic misery and concerns over whether emergency services can do their job.
The UK tasked the British Army with dealing with the shortage, but very little help was provided. The most embarrassing thing is that the government is accusing the population of panicking. But how did the crisis start in the first place?
In recent months, many businesses have reported shortages, including fast food chains KFC, McDonald’s and Nando’s. Supermarket shelves have also dried up. At first, people ignored the shortage, seeing it as an inconvenience that could hardly shake the economy.
News from oil giants BP and ExxonMobil that they had to close some gas stations due to a shortage of truck drivers changed that perception.
The process of maintaining the flow of gas stations in the country involves the seamless interaction of a number of activities. So when one or more aspects of the process are out of whack, the whole system can come to a halt.
Critics say Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also to blame for failing to address the shortage of truckers – he has been warned for months that there is a shortage of around 100,000 drivers across the industry trucking.
Johnson likes to downplay the driver shortage due to Britain’s exodus from the EU bloc.
When the country left the EU’s economic orbit earlier this year, one of the bloc’s main principles ceased to apply – the freedom of people to move around the UK to find work. With Brexit, tens of thousands of drivers have left the UK to return home to the EU, putting further pressure on an industry already facing long-term staffing issues.
The coronavirus pandemic and series of lockdowns have also played a major role in the affair. Lockdown restrictions have resulted in difficulties in training and testing new local drivers to replace those who have left.
In addition, the pandemic has sped up the number of UK drivers, many of whom are nearing retirement age, making it a day. Relatively low wages, changes in the way truck drivers’ incomes are taxed, and a lack of facilities – toilets and showers, for example – have also decreased the attractiveness of work for young workers. In short, it was a perfect storm.
The UK is not the first country to have faced a fuel crisis this year. Lebanon has also struggled with a fuel crisis for over a year.
The Lebanese political and economic crisis, which began at the end of 2019, is the most painful period of instability in Lebanon.
Commodity prices and inflation have skyrocketed, with civil society and economists claiming that around half of the country’s population is now below the poverty line.
Most gas stations are crowded every day and people wait long hours to buy gasoline and diesel. Some bring gallons with them.
Since the onset of the recent economic crisis, the value of the Lebanese national currency has fallen by around 90% and unemployment has risen sharply until a sanctioned Iran comes to the rescue.
Iran has sent seven tankers to Lebanon, a country that consumes 12 million liters of fuel daily, at the behest of Hezbollah.
After careful consideration, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and other senior figures in the movement decided to buy Iranian oil.
The head of Hezbollah said that after being informed of possible sanctions or other measures from the United States that could harm the government if the tankers dock in Lebanon, he decided to moor the first ship in neighboring Syria and take the cargo overland across the border with Syria by trucks.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on August 23 that Iran could not witness the “planned” suffering of the Lebanese.
“As a country subject to oppressive US sanctions, we know that some countries are addicted to sanctioning others and use their pain for their own benefit,” he said.
The senior diplomat added that Iran sells oil and fuel at the behest of “its friends and allies”.
“We are announcing that we are ready to export fuel to Lebanon at their request,” he said.
A delegation of four U.S. senators said on September 1 that America is seeking to help Lebanon overcome the fuel shortages that have crippled the country. But they warned that importing Iranian oil into the crisis-stricken country could have “seriously damaging consequences.”
“It is inexcusable that in the midst of this deadly crisis, political leaders in Lebanon have refused to make difficult choices to form a government,” Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut told reporters. He said Lebanon needed a government capable of negotiating with the International Monetary Fund and initiating reforms to reduce widespread corruption in the Mediterranean country, without saying that the United States blocked Lebanon’s request to provide fuel.
Nasrallah asked Iran for help after Lebanon’s Western and Arab allies ignored Lebanon’s call for help.
As many observers in Lebanon and beyond predicted a total collapse of order in this Mediterranean Arab country, Hezbollah’s secretary general has opened up a new path for Lebanon to break free from the economic shackles led by the United States. .
This is not the first time that Iran has shown its might. In May 2020, Iran sold five shipments of oil to Venezuela despite threats from Washington. Iranian tankers have started arriving in Venezuela under the protection of Venezuelan military forces.
“Venezuela has the right to buy from the world what it wants to buy,” Maduro said in a speech at the time. “Fortunately, Venezuela has more friends than people can imagine.”
A powerful country is not only powerful in words. These are the actions that make you powerful.