The Real Reason Saudi Arabia Doesn’t Want Friendlier U.S.-Iran RelationsSubmitted by Apple on Sun, 11/17/2013 - 13:53
High-level U.S. talks with the Islamic Republic, Saudi Arabia’s bitter regional rival, were the last straw. Last Tuesday, the head of Saudi intelligence services told European diplomats to anticipate a “major shift” away from the United States over disagreements on Syria and Iran policy. Recent Saudi rhetoric has been so severe that in it Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni heard echoes of her own country’s politics: “When you hear the Saudis talk about what needs to be done to prevent [a nuclear] Iran, it sounds familiar,” Livni said.
Ahead of largely positive negotiations between Iran and six world powers in Geneva two weeks ago, a senior U.S. administration official told Reuters that Washington is willing to offer “targeted, proportional” sanctions relief in exchange for Iranian steps to curb its nuclear program. An Iran unencumbered by the sanctions that have weighed on it for decades could put a serious dent in the Kingdom’s economic platform: oil exports. Fitch, the international credit rating agency, estimated that relaxed sanctions could soon bring 800,000 barrels of Iranian oil to market, driving global oil prices down. The head of global commodity and asset allocation research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch placed the drop in prices at a stunning 10 percent.
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