Oil has been one of the most politically sensitive commodities over the years. And now Asia’s four largest economies are finding out how difficult it is to balance political will with economic reality.
As the US and European Union move to cut Iran’s oil exports, China, Japan, India and South Korea are having to tread the fine line between international relations and national needs.
China, Asia’s largest and the world’s second-largest economy, is yet to give any hint if it will reduce its imports from Iran, despite a visit by the US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to Beijing to discuss the issue.
The signals coming out of India indicate it is keen to continue its relationship with Tehran.