Arab Oil

The Egyptian and Syrian political leaders, President Anwar Sadat and President Assad had made their final decision to attack Israel on October 6, at 2:00 P.M. As a response to the decision of the Arab leaders, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko began evacuating Soviet civilian personnel and their families from Egypt and Syria. The Soviet Union government headed by Leonid Brezhnev did not fully approve of the decision of these two Arab countries. Israel was headed by Golda Meir during the armed conflict. (Israelyan, 1995)
The Yom Kippur, or Ramadan War, which started on October 6, 1973 was due to the frustration of the Arab countries with Israeli failure to evacuate occupied territories and to support UN resolutions. (Morse, 1999) These frustrations had been aggravated by persistent perceptions among Arab leaders that the United States was strongly supporting Israel in violation of the Arab situation. Prime Minister Assad of Syria informed the Soviet authorities that the Syrian and Egyptian leaders had decided to prusue a joint attack against Israel on October 6 at 2:00 P.M. This crucial decision had been made on October 4. Both countries had relied on the Soviet Union for understanding and support. (Israelyan, 1995)
The combined military forces of Egypt and Syria attacked Israel during the Yom Kippur which was a religious holiday for Israelis, the Day of Atonement. On the Golan Heights, 150 Israeli tanks battled 1,400 Syria tanks and in the Suez area, about 500 Israeli soldiers faced 80,000 Egyptian soldiers. The Israelis were obviously outnumbered. However, the Israeli army called up reserves and engaged the two countries in strategic counter-offensive military actions. (Morse, 1999)
Furthermore, the act of using oil as a weapon was enhanced by the efforts of the five Arab OPEC members on October 17 to enlist the support of the oil ministers of Egypt, Syria, Libya, Bahrain, and Syria in order through a Conference of Arab Oil Ministers. The meeting had a political purpose. the ministers mutually agreed on how to use the oil weapon to encourage the United States to re-examine its unwavering support for Israel and to force the evacuation of occupied territories. The outcome of the October 17 meeting was a resolution specifying the appropriate processes steps need to be taken. Nine countries signed the resolution. The members decided that the oil weapon would be deployed as follows: the nine signatory countries would decrease their oil production levels by at least 5 percent from the actual September 1973 levels. Then in the succeeding months, a similar reduction will be applied. The Arab countries will guarantee that friendly states will not be included in the reduction.
The oil production cuts would continue until Israel had moved out of the occupied territories and the basic and legal rights of the Palestinian people were upheld. The decision on the production cut was then changed on November in which the reduction of oil production were raised to 25 percent below the September level. This was to be followed by another round of 5 percent reduction in December. The different categories of oil-consuming countries were prioritized accordingly. First, the most favored countries would receive their full oil