|Biographical detail : ||A Saudi diplomat.
Sheikh Yamani was in charge of Saudi Arabia’s oil affairs for 24 years, and became perhaps the best-known Arab personality in the world.
Sheikh Yamani was educated in Egypt and the US, and while he was a practising lawyer Faisal made him legal advisor to the Saudi Council of Ministers. The King had high regard for his abilities and in 1962 appointed him minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.
With his quite self-confidence, command of his subject and talent as a strategist and negotiator, Yamani soon acquired influence at home and abroad – which greatly increased after the tripling of oil prices in 1973-4 when Saudi Arabia, with 30 per cent of the world’s known oil reserves, became a financial superpower.
Yamani used his dominance in OPEC, the oil countries’ cartel, to reduce damage to the international economy from excessive price fluctuations. He also led the drive for a share by OPEC governments in the concessions of the major oil Companies, and achieved a full Saudi take-over in 1977.
Yamani never enjoyed a similarly close relationship with King Fahd after King Faisal’s death in 1975, although King Fahd continued to rely on Yamani’s wisdom and experience.
Yamani pursued moderate policies in opposition to OPEC hawks during the Iran-Iraq war and the Eighties oil recession, until King Fahd dismissed him in 1986.
An Islamic scholar in his own right Sheikh Yamani is the founder and chairman of the reputable Centre for Global Energy Studies based in London. He is also founder and chairman of Alfurqan – the Islamic Heritage Foundation, active in preserving, recording and publishing old Islamic manuscripts.
In his book The Everlasting Shari’ah and in his numerous writings and lectures Sheikh Yamani have gone far in elucidating the facts about Islam. He annually participates in the course on Islamic Shari’ah at Harvard University Law School.