Gas Exporting Countries Summit in Algeria: Iran's Rising Influence in Energy Markets

Algeria has recently hosted one of the most significant meetings of the 7th Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) Summit of gas leaders. Algeria stands as one of the most notable African countries, renowned for its cultural influence in the region and widespread acceptance among African nations, solidifying its leadership role among African countries. The gathering of senior officials from OPEC member countries in Algiers heightened the significance of this event. The OPEC gas organization, established on the initiative of Iran, encompasses major gas-energy-producing nations globally, with a mission to manage the energy market and set prices for this vital commodity. However, the importance of this meeting transcended the energy sector, as additional factors contributed to the complexity and gravity of the proceedings.

Mar 8, 2024 - 20:54
Gas Exporting Countries Summit in Algeria: Iran's Rising Influence in Energy Markets

By: A. Yeganeh

Gaza Crisis and Iranian Influence


The meeting in Algeria, attended by senior officials from various nations worldwide, provided an opportune platform for the Iranian government to reiterate its principled stance on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Iran called upon Islamic countries to increase aid to the Palestinians, utilizing their energy resources to exert pressure on international stakeholders to promptly halt the aggressive actions of the Zionist regime or face an energy embargo that could disrupt global markets. Notably, Arab and Islamic nations have refrained from leveraging their energy influence in this manner, opting for mediation instead. The recent escalation in the Palestinian crisis following suspected attacks by the Zionist army in the Rafah area has heightened tensions and underscored the urgency of addressing the situation.


Iran's Strategic Objectives


In addition to advocating for Gaza, Iran aimed to enhance its influence in international energy markets during the meeting. With abundant energy resources, Iran proposed transforming itself into the gas hub of West Asia, positioning its gas exports as a logical and cost-effective solution for various countries. This strategic move not only bolsters Iran's economy but also serves as a countermeasure against US sanctions. Beyond energy considerations, Iran sees an opportunity to explore military exports through commercial and military discussions with senior officials of gas-exporting countries in Algeria.

Leveraging soft power and regional relations

Iran's soft power, particularly its cultural influence in the West Asian region, has been instrumental in strengthening its position internationally. Algeria, a longstanding ally of Iran, provides an avenue for enhancing bilateral relations and expanding Iran's reach into critical international areas such as the Strait of Gibraltar. By solidifying ties with Algeria, Iran can bolster its naval and geopolitical presence, strategically positioning itself along important commercial and military routes. This strategic maneuver enhances Iran's bargaining power vis-à-vis Western powers and reinforces its status as a regional power player.


Outlook and Future Prospects


The OPEC gas meeting in Algeria marked a pivotal international event, with Iran leveraging its participation to pursue diverse objectives. Algeria's role in facilitating Iran's prominence in North Africa signifies a strategic move to establish a robust presence in a region poised for global contention in the years ahead. The collaboration between Iran and Russia in Algeria holds the potential to advance projects in the Eastern Axis, strengthening their foothold in Algeria and Africa. As global dynamics evolve, Iran's strategic maneuvers in Algeria underscore its ambitions to solidify its position on the international stage and shape the geopolitical landscape in critical regions.