Saudi-Russian Collusion to Raise Oil Prices Is Bad for the U.S.—and for Saudi Arabia

Since late 2016, Moscow and Riyadh, with help from other OPEC countries, have reduced oil production and raised prices, which are now nearing $70 per barrel. John Hannah urges Washington to pressure Saudi Arabia to change course, not just for the sake of the American consumer but for strategic reasons as well:

[A]nything that would invariably end up strengthening the oil-dependent economies of both Russia and Iran, two of America’s most dangerous international adversaries, should be deeply troubling. It’s hard to view a scheme as benign if it guarantees more cash with which Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei can threaten vital U.S. interests.

Strangely, [the tightening of oil markets] comes from a Saudi regime that blithely claims that Iran’s supreme leader, if not stopped, will prove more dangerous than Adolf Hitler. Even setting aside the hyperbole, the long-standing Iranian project to destabilize and take down the House of Saud is real and pressing—as is the Iranian origin of many of the 100-plus missiles that Houthi rebels in Yemen have rained down on Saudi cities and installations in the past few years. Russian military firepower has also joined in a murderous alliance with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Syria to prop up Bashar al-Assad’s genocidal regime, kill hundreds of thousands of Saudi Arabia’s Sunni co-religionists, and put Iran on the threshold of dominating the Levant. . . .

The Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman has been desperate for U.S. help not only to manage the Iranian threat abroad and economic modernization at home but also to legitimize his brazen bid for absolute power within the royal family. In exchange for that help, the United States ought to press continuously its own set of concrete demands with the Saudis, including combating the ideology of jihadism, containing Iranian aggression, and . . . not colluding with Putin in a scheme to manipulate global oil markets. It’s high time the president’s agenda with the Saudis moved beyond the endless quest to sell them ever greater quantities of advanced weaponry that they really don’t need and can’t effectively use.

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Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Iran, Mohammad bin Salman, Oil, Politics & Current Affairs, Russia, Saudi Arabia, U.S. Foreign policy

Condemning Terrorism in Jerusalem—and Efforts to Stop It

Jan. 30 2023

On Friday night, a Palestinian opened fire at a group of Israelis standing outside a Jerusalem synagogue, killing seven and wounding several others. The day before, the IDF had been drawn into a gunfight in the West Bank city of Jenin while trying to arrest members of a terrorist cell. Of the nine Palestinians killed in the raid, only one appears to have been a noncombatant. Lahav Harkov compares the responses to the two events, beginning with the more recent:

President Joe Biden called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to denounce the attack, offer his condolences, and express his commitment to Israel’s security. Other leaders released supportive statements as well. Governments across Europe condemned the attack. Turkey’s foreign ministry did the same, as did Israel’s Abraham Accords partners the UAE and Bahrain. Even Saudi Arabia released a statement against the killing of civilians in Jerusalem.

It feels wrong to criticize those statements. . . . But the condemnations should be full-throated, not spoken out of one side of the mouth while the other is wishy-washy about what it takes to stave off terrorism. These very same leaders and ministries were tsk-tsking at Israel for doing just that only a day before the attacks in Jerusalem.

The context didn’t seem to matter to some countries that are friendly to Israel. It didn’t matter that Israel was trying to stop jihadists from attacking civilians; it didn’t matter that IDF soldiers were attacked on the way.

It’s very easy for some to be sad when Jews are murdered. Yet, at the same time, so many of them are uncomfortable with Jews asserting themselves, protecting themselves, arming themselves against the bloodthirsty horde that would hand out bonbons to celebrate their deaths. It’s a reminder of how important it is that we do just that, and how essential the state of Israel is.

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Read more at Lahav’s Newsletter

More about: Jerusalem, Palestinian terror