A few points:
There was much concern over the past few months that OPEC (or OPEC+) was not going to assist the EU and USA with their embargos on Russian oil by producing more oil.
President Joe Biden had asked the Saudis and UAE to step up their output and OPEC+’s quotas, to tame high prices and facilitate the West’s plans to sanctions and kill Russian oil exports. When the Saudis refused, much was said about the Saudi’s anger at Biden and the USA for criticizing the Saudis’ bloody (and incompetent) war in Yemen and MbS having ordered dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi killed and dismembered.
So too, much was written about the Saudi’s and GCC’s supposed new focus on allying with China, prioritizing serving the Chinese market. And especially much ink was dedicated to the presumed great loss of USA influence in the Gulf to both Russia and China, which was put down to the USA strategic drawdown in the Gulf Region in preference for its strategy (since Obama) of “Renewed Great Power Competition” vs. Russia and especially vs. China.
Added to this was the Biden administration’s attempt to get a new JCPOA with Iran, something the Saudis and much of the GCC are deeply opposed to.Continue reading