Profits and old revenge.. Why is Trump hosting the Saudi golf tournament?

US President Joe Biden has promised that Saudi Arabia’s decision to significantly cut oil production will have consequences, but, like previous US presidents angered by the Kingdom, he may face restrictions as he evaluates his options in this area , according to an analysis published by AFP.

Biden was criticized in the United States for his visit to Saudi Arabia in June, and the fist greeting between him and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite his promise during his election campaign to make the kingdom a “pariah” over cases of human rights violations.

However, Saudi Arabia also undermined the undeclared reason for Biden’s visit, as the “OPEC +” alliance led by the Kingdom announced a reduction in oil production by two million barrels per day, which will lead to an increase in Russian income at a time when it attacks Ukraine, and raises prices for American consumers weeks ago from congressional elections.

In response, the Biden administration announced that it was ready to consider measures demanded by angry Democrats in Congress to respond to Saudi Arabia and, in turn, rethink US policy toward Riyadh.

Senator Chris Murphy, a longtime critic of Saudi Arabia over its war in Yemen, said the United States should suspend sales of medium-range air-to-air missiles to Saudi Arabia and send them to Ukraine. as well as Patriot missile defenses must be redeployed in Ukraine or to NATO allies.

He stressed that “these two steps will restore our relationship with Saudi Arabia to its proper size and help Ukraine.”

In contrast, Saudi supporters have warned that the United States could push it into the arms of Russia and China, although many experts doubt that the kingdom would make such a move so easily after eight decades of partnership with the United States.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN on Sunday that Biden would “act methodically and strategically” as part of a reassessment of US-Saudi relations, adding that the US president has “no plans” to have the crown prince at ‘ to meet a G8 summit. twentieth of November in Indonesia.

And University of Michigan Middle East expert Russell Lucas believed that the Biden administration could at least slow down arms sales, especially regarding the issue of ammunition stockpiles.

“It cannot be quickly replaced by another arms supplier,” he said.

oil ratios

But previous efforts to distance themselves from Saudi Arabia have faced a major obstacle: oil, according to the analysis.

Despite stepping up its action in the fight against climate change, the United States is still decades away from immunizing itself in the face of high oil prices.

Although US officials boast that the United States has overtaken Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer. But American production decisions are largely made by private companies. And shale oil, which is the basis of the energy boom in the United States, is more difficult to expand or reduce its production, according to an AFP analysis.

“The idea that increasing US production will protect us from decisions by oil producers abroad is completely wrong,” said researcher Anil Schelin of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Government, which supports a more assertive approach to the Saudis.

“We will always remain dependent on these other countries as long as we depend on oil,” she added.

But it claims that Saudi Arabia will harm itself if it is no longer the reliable source of oil for the United States.

“Drama” by Prince

Saudi Arabia emphasized that the “OPEC +” decision was entirely economic, saying that US arms sales serve the interests of both countries.

On Sunday night, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz said the Kingdom’s strategy in the global oil sector is based on supporting the “stability and balance” of the market.

Meanwhile, the Kingdom voted with the United States at the United Nations on Wednesday to condemn Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory.

Researcher Bruce Riedel of the Brookings Institution believes that the rise in oil prices was a clear election interference by the crown prince on behalf of Donald Trump’s Republican party.

The former president was a staunch supporter of the Saudis, and he boasted that he had rescued Mohammed bin Salman after US intelligence concluded that he had masterminded the killing of American journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was one of his critics. approved by his country’s consulate in Istanbul. .

It is possible to improve the relationship

On the decision to cut oil production, Riedel says: “The only thing we know about Mohammed bin Salman’s behavior is that he loves drama – the more dramatic, the better.”

He points out that the Saudis, if they want to improve relations, can ease pressure on Yemen or take a step in the framework of human rights.

However, one US option to reduce Saudi influence, ending oil sanctions on its regional rival Iran, appears increasingly unlikely.

With months of negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, the Biden administration is expected to be careful not to take actions seen to benefit the Iranian regime as the latter quells popular protests that have sparked by the death of a young woman who was arrested by the morality police.

Scholar Stephen Cook of the Council on Foreign Relations believes that the United States should adopt a “realistic rapprochement” with Saudi Arabia that recognizes that the relationship is reciprocal.

“The United States still needs the Saudis, no matter how condemned they are,” he says.

Leave a Comment