“Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has advised Saudi officials against making injudicious remarks about boosting oil production amid European countries’ efforts to impose oil sanctions on the Islamic republic. “We expect the countries in the Persian Gulf region, particularly Saudi Arabia, with which we have always called for the best relations, to avoid injudicious discourses,” Salehi said on Tuesday in response to Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, who has said that his country will make up for any shortfall in world oil supply caused by sanctions against Iran. “If Saudi officials’ recent remarks are to be regarded as their official view, we advise them to respond more thoughtfully and sensibly to regional issues,” Salehi added. Al-Naimi told CNN on Monday that his country could increase production by two million barrels “almost immediately” if sanctions are imposed on Iran’s oil industry. Iran exports roughly 2.5 million barrels per day. The Saudi minister also expressed his doubts that Iran could successfully close the Strait of Hormuz..……..” Mehr News Agency (Iran)
It looks like the Saudis have succeeded in pushing any hesitant Gulf state toward the American-Israeli position on Iran. With the likely exception of Oman which usually marches to its own music. The Saudis are taking an openly harder line now: the minister said his country is willing to produce about the same amount of crude that Iran would lose in exports. Even more telling, he opined that Iran can’t close the Strait of Hormuz. It sounds like he was inviting the West to go ahead and march toward the destructive regional war that some Gulf oligarchs want the Americans to wage again. The Saudi king and the UAE rulers may get the wish they have expressed in the past (Wikileaks). And there is no doubt that it would be a regional war this time around.
All this is reminiscent of the 1980s, when most GCC Gulf states sided with Saddam Hussein after he invaded Iran. Not only did they supply Saddam with financing and weapons, some of them also sold their own crude oil on behalf of Iraq. Once Iranian’s ability to sell oil was cut, they started the tankers war in the Gulf. That led to confrontations with the U.S navy in the Gulf (of course the Iranians didn’t do well in those confrontations). After that war ended Saddam turned his brotherly neighborly guns south toward the GCC. History may be about to be repeated, but on a larger more destructive scale.
Of course the GCC states have the right to sell as much oil as they want and to whomever they want to. Even to poached former customers of Iran. Still all perfectly legal, more legal than the expected new war that the West may wage in the Gulf. But in time of war and desperation this type of logic is meaningless in reality, and is thrown out the window. The Iranians will correctly see it as an attempt to help the Anglo-American-Israeli war effort against them. The oil embargo is not sanctioned by the United Nations, but is purely American, with Israeli instigation.
From the Iranians’ point of view, they will see the same neighbors again siding with an ‘aggressor’, this time without the convenience of the aggressor being an “Arab” side.