Israel pitched to India this weekend its idea of a new transportation corridor in the Middle East bypassing the most critical oil chokepoint in the world which is very close to Iran, the Strait of Hormuz.
During the Mediterranean Dialogues conference in Rome on Saturday, Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Intelligence, Israel Katz, met with India’s Minister of External Affairs, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, to discuss bilateral trade and presented Israel’s “Tracks for Regional Peace” initiative.
According to the plan by Israel’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, the ‘Tracks for regional peace - regional land bridge and hub initiative’ would connect the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf, using Israel as a land bridge and Jordan as a regional transportation hub. The regional rail network will carry cargo from the Mediterranean onto Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf and vice versa. The initiative is expected to be profitable in ten years.
The railroad will also “bypass the security threats emanating from Iran and the Straits of Hormuz and the Bab al-Mandeb,” according to the Israeli plan.
The Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf is the most important oil chokepoint in the world with daily oil flows averaging 21 million bpd, or the equivalent of 21 percent of global petroleum liquids consumption. According to EIA estimates, 76 percent of the crude oil and condensate that moved through the Strait of Hormuz last year went to Asian markets, with China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore the top destinations.
Several high-profile incidents this year have increased the tension between Iran and the West in the Middle East and in the Strait of Hormuz, which is in close proximity to Iranian coasts.
In the summer, Iran seized a British-flagged oil tanker in what appeared to be a retaliatory move after the British overseas territory Gibraltar had earlier seized an Iranian oil tanker with the help of the UK Royal Marines.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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