Oil priced $400 in yuan, Russian military base – Saudi insider says kingdom mulls 30 anti-US moves

Monday, October 15, 2018
By Paul Martin

15 Oct, 2018

If the US imposes sanctions on Saudi Arabia, it will “stab its own economy to death” the head of Al Arabiya said. Riyadh may become friends with Iran, trade its oil in yuan and invite the Russian military.
Saudi officials said they may retaliate against the US, if Washington delivers on a threat to impose sanctions over the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Turki Aldakhil, the General Manager of the Saudi international news network Al Arabiya, said Riyadh was considering some 30 moves that it may take in response to possible sanctions, and many of those he mentions seem pretty harsh.

In an op-ed published on Sunday, the insider said Saudi influence on the oil market alone puts it into position to badly hurt American interests. “If the price of oil reaching $80 angered President Trump, no one should rule out the price jumping to $100, or $200, or even double that figure,” he wrote, adding that Riyadh may start pricing its crude in Chinese yuan rather than US dollar, dealing a blow to its status as a world reserve currency.

The Saudis may make a geostrategic turn away from the US and towards its rival: China, Russia and Iran, Aldakhil added. “No one can deny that repercussions of these sanctions will include a Russian military base in Tabuk,” he said, referring to Saudi Arabia’s northwestern province located in a strategically valuable place near the Red Sea with its trade routes as well as Israel and Jordan.

As part of its possible rapprochement with Iran, Saudi Arabia would see “Hamas and Hezbollah have turned from enemies into friends” while at the same time stop exchanging intelligence with the US and its allies. At the moment information from the Saudis is contributing to the “protection of millions of Westerners,” he stressed.

Of course Saudi Arabia will no longer buy weapons from US manufacturers if sanctions are given the green light, Aldakhil predicted, adding that this would reduce foreign sales of US defense contractors by two thirds. American firms will also be barred from the Saudi markets, he added.

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