Several of Qatar’s neighbours — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain — were joined on 5 June by Egypt, Yemen and some smaller countries in dissolving diplomatic ties with Qatar, and placing it under siege by air, sea and land. In an official statement, the Saudi government referred to several ‘grave violations’ allegedly committed by Qatar, since 2006 the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG). It has accused Qatar’s emir, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, of ‘instigating against the Saudi state and infringing on its sovereignty, supporting various terrorist and other groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, and the Islamic State, using its media to attack Saudi Arabia, and undermining the war in Yemen.’ Gulf analyst Neil Partrick goes as far as to argue that the crisis ‘represents the total failure of the Gulf Union project.’ What light does the crisis throw on Saudi … [Read more...] about Qatar crisis: Saudi Arabia as anti-hero?
Iran will attack saudi arabia
At an oil executive gathering in India earlier this week, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih reminded the world that Saudi Arabia acts as the “central bank of the oil market” to help keep supply and demand in balance. His statement might have seemed innocuous enough, had it not come amid escalating rhetoric in the ongoing controversy surrounding the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In what was clearly a swipe at President Donald Trump, who has been complaining of late about oil prices, the minister added, “We expect and demand that Saudi Arabia’s efforts be acknowledged. These supply disruptions need a shock absorber. The shock absorber has been to a large part Saudi Arabia.” He noted that oil prices could easily have reached over $100 a barrel, but for Saudi efforts. As an oil analyst, I don’t doubt that the minister is correct in this assessment of Saudi Arabia’s influence on prices. Trump also appears … [Read more...] about Can the oil threat spare Saudi Arabia from America’s wrath?
Saudi Arabia enjoys a privileged position both in geopolitical and economic terms. It will have a powerful hand to play if tensions with the US and the west escalate and it follows through with Sunday’s warning of retaliation. Its vast oil reserves – it claims to have about 260bn barrels still to extract – afford the most obvious advantage. The kingdom is the world’s largest oil exporter, pumping or shipping about 7m barrels a day, and giving Riyadh huge clout in the global economy because it wields power to push up prices. An editorial in Arab News by Turki Aldhakhil, the general manager of the official Saudi news channel, Al Arabiya, offers a hint of what could be in the offing. He said Riyadh was weighing up 30 measures designed to put pressure on the US if it were to impose sanctions over the disappearance and presumed murder of Jamal Khashoggi inside the country’s Istanbul consulate. These would include an oil production cut that could drive prices … [Read more...] about How much damage can Saudi Arabia do to the global economy?
Sputnik discussed the timing of Trump's comment with Abdulaziz Alghashian, a Middle East expert and PhD researcher of international relations and the politics of the Middle East at Essex University. Sputnik: What do you think about the timing of the comment? Why is President Trump ratcheting up his rhetoric now? Abdulaziz Alghashian: In terms of the timing, this is something that is not surprising because his rhetoric is always going to be amped up whenever he talks to any kind of domestic audience. © REUTERS / Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal CourtSaudi Arabia to Trump: Riyadh 'Will Pay Nothing' to US for Its SecurityOf course, the domestic sphere right now in politics in Washington DC is clearly indicating that there is a lot of pressure on Donald Trump. He's facing a lot of enemies within the domestic sphere and the media sphere much turning against him. Not only that, … [Read more...] about Trump Opts For Harsh Rhetoric With His ‘Easy Target’ Saudi Arabia
Iranian protesters have attacked a religious school in Karaj province near Tehran, the conservative Fars news agency reported Saturday, as sporadic protests simmered ahead of the reimposition of US sanctions. Iranian authorities have barely mentioned days of protests in the major cities of Isfahan, Shiraz, Mashhad and Tehran, driven by concerns over the economy as well as wider anger at the political system. During past unrest, conservative outlets have focused on attacks against sensitive symbols such as religious buildings as a way of tarnishing the protests. "At 9 pm (1530 GMT on Friday) they attacked the school and tried to break the doors down and burn things," Fars quoted the head of the school in the town of Ishtehad, Hojatoleslam Hindiani, as saying. It gave only his clerical rank -- Hojatoleslam -- not his given name. "They were about 500 people and they chanted against the system but they were dispersed by the riot police and some have been arrested," Hindiani said. "These … [Read more...] about Iran protesters attack religious school: conservative media