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Tanker attacks show Asia's vulnerability as 'world's workshop'

World faces possibility of third oil shock, leaving region facing new risks

An oil tanker is seen after it was attacked in the Gulf of Oman on June 13.   © Reuters

TEHRAN -- Thursday's attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz highlight the risks of a third oil shock.

The first two such shocks took place in the 1970s, causing gasoline prices to balloon and certain commodities to run short, hurting the economies of oil importers. These days, the risks are higher: Crude from the Middle East supports the entire supply chain of Asian manufacturers. If the lifeline to the "world's workshop" is cut, the disruption would likely spread to Western financial markets, triggering a global crisis.

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