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Oil & chaos

Recent Saudi newspaper commentary has charged the international community with failing to resolve the conflict in Yemen; years of Houthis missile & drone attacks have been accompanied by a shift away from c. 2019 or so commentary that suggested the coalition could simply wash its hands of the conflict. To be updated, esp as Friday’s attacks will likely generate further such commentary:


The Kingdom has announced its clear position… [I]t will not bear any responsibility for oil-supply shortages in global markets in light of these attacks on oil and gas production and refinery sites in the Kingdom from the Iranian-backed terrorist Houthi militia. These attacks affect the Kingdom’s production capacity and its obligations to the global market. They further emphasize the importance of the international community recognizing the danger of Iran supplying the Houthis with ballistic missiles and drones. It is also important for the international community to shoulder its responsibility for maintaining energy supplies, standing firmly against the Iranian-backed Houthi militias and deterring them from these acts of sabotage. These attacks pose a direct threat to the security of supplies in extremely sensitive circumstances of global markets. global energy. Hamood Abu Taleb, Okaz, 3.24.22
It is certain that Saudi Arabia is able to protect itself, and is able to employ its broad coalitions while converting them them into powerful strategic partnerships. But it will not bear the consequences for what Iranian tampering and criminality do to other countries in terms of shortages in energy supplies, and the consequent return of inflation and the collapse of stock exchanges. These are consequences for which the Kingdom will not bear the responsibility, as long as the world remains silent about the crimes of Iran’s mullahs and its cronies. Jamil al-Dhiyabi, Okaz, 3.25.22
The great powers’ need for oil has become linked to their ability to cut off the militia project in the region that is fueled by Iran. They need take a clear and explicit position on the terrorist Houthi militia, its hijacking of Yemen, and the chaotic futility of its failed attempts to target the Kingdom. Any hesitation, or just diplomatic condemnation while playing the role of the “objective observer,” means accepting the equation of oil in exchange for Iranian chaos. This means the return of the high level of tension that we see recently, which closes off resolutions at the diplomatic and negotiating level, or including Iran with its chaotic projects as part of the nuclear agreement, which is unacceptable. Today, soft words, denouncing statements, and soft stances that hide behind the masks of pragmatism and opportunism, cannot stand. Numbers and prices do not lie! Yousef al-Dini, Aawsat, 3.22.22

An observation from Wael Mahdi on the source of recent Saudi statements about oil production:

Although most of the oil anouncements issued by Saudi Arabia are purely political language, because oil is an important interface for the Kingdom’s foreign policy, these statements are mostly issued by the competent authority, which is the Ministry of Energy. However, Monday’s statement was ssued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to express the country’s political position as a result of the international community’s policies and its leniency with what is happening in the region. Aawsat, 2.24.22

A longer contemplation of the issue of oil production and alliances from Abdelrahman al Rashed:

At a time when we are at odds with Iran and do not trust it, an already complicated issue is getting more and more complicated. The Iranians are entering the arena as a player in two different capacities: as a petroleum producer and as a trading partner to the extent that Iran is no longer at odds with the West. The need of the major countries for oil as a tool in political action will put pressure the Middle East region. It is not permissible to compare our stage today with the stage of the Cold War in 1947 to 1991. The difference is that when we were in the Western camp, due to our common interests, the West was both the largest importer of oil and the protector of its safe passage. Today the situation is different, with China as the largest importer but unwilling to fight battles for it; this increases the risk of regional battles. Therefore, the interest of the region is to maintain a reasonable relationship with the three major conflicting powers, all of which are our partners. This desire is not easy for us to achieve, especially when the level of conflict rises, as we see in Ukraine. Aawsat, 3.21.22

And similar from Al-Riyadh

The Russian-Ukrainian war does not cancel out the Middle Eastern impression that the United States is voluntarily retreating in the region, as it is preparing for a nuclear agreement with Iran, and is not defending the interests of its allies. The Middle East is still within American unilateralism in all aspects of globalization, including arms deals, financial systems, and trade exchange, even though Russia does not, of course, have the same capabilities the United States does during international crises. Editorial, 3.26.22

Ratcheting things up, from Mohammed al-Sa’id:

No one should be surprised if Washington, on behalf of its President Biden and the name of the American nation, presents letters of apology to the terrorist Osama bin Laden and the criminal Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Nor should we be shocked if Hussain Salami (head of the IRGC) and Ayman Zawahiri are welcomed in the White House as leaders and allies alongside Hassan Nasrallah and Abdul-Malik al-Houthi. This is what the extreme left in America has produced. Okaz, 3.24.22
Today in Europe, Putin is being transformed into a new Hitler, even if he is not Hitler and has no desire to be an expansionist occupier like Hitler. Russia is also being “Germanised”-transformed into a pariah state and besieged-even if Russia does not want that. I think that the model of Germany and Japan after World War II is what America prefers, and what all the political priests in the capitals of Europe seek: an occupied country from within, nominally independent before the world, prohibited from manufacturing weapons or establishing armies, transfering its existing army and dismantling its weapons system, ensuring it walks in the Western orbit. Okaz, 3.20.22

And more of the same from Tareq Al-Homayed (3.23.22).

Unrelated, interesting article on supporting domestic Saudi agriculture (especially in the South):

Some solutions lie in preventing the import of any agricultural products that are produced locally, especially during when those crops are in season. Moreover, the Export Authority should play an important pivotal role in terms of linking local farmers to foreign markets and facilitating the marketing of their products in case there is a production surplus. Creating an added value on agricultural products will contribute to supporting farmers. It is unfortunate that you cannot find a factory for tomato paste, ketchup and others in the city of Jizan, in light of the abundance of vegetable production there and its proximity to international markets such as the Horn of Africa. Not restricting these farmers in terms of employment and granting them privileges and financial and logistical facilities, such as in recruitment or transfer of [worker] sponsorship, will motivate and motivate a larger number of people to enter the agricultural field. The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture must urge the private sector to adopt the latest technological advances in the agricultural sector worldwide. Ali Mohammed al-Hazmi, Okaz, 3.24.22
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