Thursday, 5 July 2012

Kenya-Iran Oil Deal

Kenya’s move to buy Iran Oil is welcomed.

The move by the Kenyan government through the Ministry of Energy to buy Iranian oil is a welcome move. Under President Mwai Kibaki, Kenya has approached new alternative foreign policy goals with a more pragmatic economic agenda. Kenya’s foreign policy has focused more on economic diplomacy under Kibaki. This move to buy oil from Iran, a country suffering from illegal and callous sanctions from the West is testament to these new alternative policy approaches.

Iran has been under a series of economic sanctions which have targeted their oil exports. The European sanctions have among other things, placed a ban on imports of Iran oil by European Union States. This has made it difficult for other countries to trade with Iran. The US, which has been the architect of the sanctions, is now finalizing a new package of sanctions aimed at further reducing oil and other revenues used by Iran to further its nuclear program. International politics is intertwined with economics and all these factors don’t operate in a vacuum. This been said, the relations between Iran and the West should entirely influence the relations between Iran and other states and vice versa. National security and national interests are the principal categories in which strategic goals are conceived. Kenya’s strategic interests of securing long term fuel supply from Iran should be seen as sound policy goal.  Under the proposed Kenya-Iranian contract, Tehran could give an extended credit facility of 90 days, saving the country millions of shillings currently used to import expensive crude oil through overdraft facilities. This will be a long term strategic interest for Kenya and further a reorientation of her policy from the traditional West to emerging East.

Nicodemus M. Minde

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