by Pepe Escobar
5 Nov, 2015
RT


King Salman of Saudi Arabia. © Carlo Allegri / Reuters

DOHA – Amidst the wilderness of mirrors surrounding the Syrian tragedy, a diamond-shaped fact persists: Despite so many degrees of separation, the Saudis are still talking to the Russians. Why?

A key reason is because a perennially paranoid House of Saud feels betrayed by their American protectors who, under the Obama administration, seem to have given up on isolating Iran.

The Saudis can’t intellectually understand the see-saw of incoherent Beltway policies due to the power struggle between Zionist neocons and the old establishment. No wonder they might be tempted to move to the Russian side of the fence. But for that to happen there will be many a price to pay.

So let’s talk about oil. In energy terms, an oil deal with the House of Saud would mean a lot to Russia. A deal could produce incremental oil revenue for Moscow of around $180 billion a year. The rest of the GCC does not really count: Kuwait is a US protectorate; Bahrain is a Saudi resort area; Dubai is a glitzy heroin money-laundering operation. The UAE itself is a wealthy group of pearl divers. And Qatar, as ‘Bandar Bush’ famously remarked, is “300 people and a TV station,” plus a decent airline that sponsors Barcelona.

Riyadh – paranoia included – fully took note of the Obama administration’s supposed “policy” of dumping Saudi Arabia over an alleged Iranian natural gas bonanza, which would supposedly replace Gazprom in supplying Europe. That won’t happen, however, because Iran needs at least $180 billion in long-term investment to upgrade its energy infrastructure.

Moscow for its part fully took note how Washington blocked South Stream. It’s also been trying to block Turk Stream – but that may come to nothing after Erdogan’s recent election landslide in Turkey. Additionally, Washington has been pressuring Finland, Sweden, Ukraine and Eastern Europe to weaponize further against Russia in NATO.

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