Saudi-U.S. relationship faced strains following decision to cut oil production.
Oil cuts fuelled tensions with U.S. Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) 5 Oct agreed to 2mn barrel cut in daily oil production, sparking heavy criticism from U.S., which perceives higher oil prices as helping Russia mitigate impact of Western sanctions. Chairman of U.S. Foreign Relations Committee 10 Oct called for freezing all cooperation with Riyadh; U.S. President Biden next day vowed “consequences” for U.S.-Saudi relations, as media reported U.S. cancelled U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council Working Group on Iran meeting scheduled 17 Oct; Riyadh 13 Oct maintained move was based only “on economic considerations”. Meanwhile, Court 3 Oct reportedly sentenced U.S.-Saudi dual citizen Saad Ibrahim Almadi to 16 years in prison for tweets criticising govt.
After Yemen’s truce lapsed, Riyadh continued engagement with Yemen’s govt and met Huthis. As April truce expired without parties committing to extension, Huthis 2 Oct threatened to target oil companies operating in Saudi Arabia; Saudi officials discussed truce renewal with Yemeni officials and potential prisoner swap with Huthis (see Yemen).
The US-Saudi relationship has gone through periods of intense strain before, but in my view the current low point represents a crack but not a rupture.
The fact that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are becoming more willing to engage the Iranians will bring them closer to the other countries in the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council...
[Saudi Arabia can] reassert its role, particularly in the charity aid sector, which it always has been traditionally proud of [...] I think we can see [Saudi Arabia] expa...
Implementing a cease-fire [between Saudi Arabia and Yemen] is no small matter, and the first test of this is going to be whether the parties show up for this virtual meet...
Riyadh may not want war with Iran, but there are risks to this strategy of rhetorical confrontation.
Les deux partis au Congrès perdent patience face à la campagne menée par l’Arabie Saoudite au Yémen. Il y a des raisons d’espérer que le Congrès interviendra pour contrer...
On 14 September, strikes of uncertain provenance hit Saudi Arabia’s largest oil facilities, taking some 50 per cent of the kingdom’s oil production temporarily offline. Crisis Group offers a 360-degree view of the attacks and their implications for Middle Eastern and international peace and security.
A series of escalations in both word and deed have raised fears of U.S.-Iranian military confrontation, either direct or by proxy. It is urgent that cooler heads prevail – in European capitals as in Tehran and Washington – to head off the threat of a disastrous war.
Saudi Arabia has been forging links to Iraq since reopening its Baghdad embassy in 2016. Its adversary Iran has strong Iraqi ties. If Riyadh avoids antagonising Tehran, invests wisely and quiets anti-Shiite rhetoric, Iraq can be a bridge between the rival powers - not a battleground.
Iran and Saudi Arabia are actively fighting one another in the media, through armed proxies, in cyberspace and with Western lobbyists. But in Iraq they should both see the case for détente.
After the defeat of the Islamic State in 2017, normality is returning to Iraq ahead of the 12 May parliamentary elections. In this Q&A, Crisis Group's Senior Analyst for the Arabian Peninsula Elizabeth Dickinson says the country’s cautious optimism includes hopes of a new partnership with Riyadh, balancing Baghdad’s strong ties with Tehran.
Doha has become a casualty of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates’ fights with Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. But don’t expect a war.
From Saudi Arabia's establishment in 1932, its minority Shiite population has been subject to discrimination and sectarian incitement. Beginning in the early 1990s, with then Crown Prince Abdullah's active support, the government took steps to improve inter-sectarian relations.
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