‘I was behind it.’ The man responsible for the 1973 oil shock has died
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Yamani became Saudi oil minister in 1962, a rare instance of someone from outside the Royal Family being promoted to such a position of influence. He would go on to drive Saudi Arabia’s emergence as an oil powerhouse over a period in office spanning nearly a quarter of a century.
It was in the 1970s that he became an international figure, reviled in the West for masterminding an oil embargo after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. The Arab members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut off crude supplies to the United States and other industrialized nations as punishment for their support of Israel. In just a few months, the price of crude oil quadrupled from $3 a barrel to $12. Gasoline rationing was introduced in the United States, as well as a nationwide 55 mph…