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Hello, all. In light of all the speculation about a possible oil embargo on the United States by Iraq (which will certainly not be supported by anyone else, with the extremely unlikely possible exception of Iran), I thought a historical note about the effect of such embargoes. Many people, when considering 1973, confuse two separate actions. One was a quadrupling of the price of oil by OPEC, which non-OPEC members went along with. The other was a specific embargo targeted at the United States and the Netherlands for their support of Israel. Although Saudi Arabia participated in this embargo, Iran did not. In any case, the effects of the embargo itself were negligible, although the effect of the price hike was great. The reason for this is the obvious fact that oil is fungible. The United States went to other sources, did third-party deals with European countries, and suffered no more than any other country, and less than many, since the US is itself an oil producer. Even if all of OPEC cut off the United States, the effect on oil prices for American companies would be very slight. Prices at the pump might rise, but that would just be because of domestic oil companies taking advantage of the situation. And, of course, what is being tentatively discussed is a symbolic one-month embargo, which most OPEC spokespeople have strongly opposed. In solidarity, Rahul Mahajan _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk