„Is Saudi Arabia ready to play hardball with Iran?“

Johna Hannah beschreibt für Foreign Policy, wie Saudi-Arabien die Islamische Republik Iran durch ein Drücken des Ölpreises unter Druck setzen könnte:

With daily exports in the range of 2.5 million barrels per day, Iran stands to lose about $900 million annually from every one dollar drop in the price of oil. With excess capacity of 4 million barrels per day, the Saudis are clearly in position to go much farther than they have to date in squeezing Iran if they so choose. An aggressive Saudi effort to depress oil prices well below the current $75 target could prove extremely harmful to Iran’s already reeling economy and tumultuous political situation. Almost certainly, such an effort could inflict as much pain on the Iranian regime as many of the sanctions currently being discussed by the United States and its international partners — and, given Russian and Chinese reluctance to get tough with Iran, would almost certainly be quicker and easier to implement.

Doch warum sollte gerade Saudi-Arabien dem Westen dabei helfen, den selbst in den Dreck gesetzten Karren aus selbigem zu ziehen? Die Antwort lautet – wie so oft – Eigeninteresse:

There’s no doubt that Saudi King Abdullah views Iran — and the near-term prospect of its acquiring nuclear weapons — as nothing short of an existential threat to the House of Saud and its preeminent position in the Islamic world. There’s at least some chance that he may be prepared to consider doing things now that in the past would have been unthinkable in order to prevent his worst nightmare from coming to pass — especially if he’s provided sufficient support, encouragement and guarantees from the United States and our major European allies.

In this regard, the current crisis in Yemen, in which Saudi forces have been drawn into combat on their southern border against Iranian-backed Shiite rebels, has only upped the ante. As with almost everything Iran does, Abdullah no doubt perceives the Islamic Republic’s involvement in Yemen as the latest maneuver in a grand strategy whose ultimate target is the Kingdom itself and control of the Islamic holy sites of Mecca and Medina.

Gleichwohl diese Option gewisse Risiken birgt, rät Hannah der US-Regierung, mit Riad über entsprechende Maßnahmen zu verhandeln:

The big question is how far the Saudis are willing to go in drawing on their oil power to really do something about it — something, that is, that actually stands a chance of either 1) compelling the Iranian regime to fundamentally re-calculate its nuclear ambitions, or 2) speeding the regime’s unraveling at the hands of its already seething population. Of course, encouraging the Saudis to use oil as a political weapon is not without its downside risks; after all, the United States was on the receiving end of just such a Saudi gambit during the oil embargo that followed the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. But given the enormity of the stakes now at play vis a vis Iran — both for the Kingdom and for the United States — it’s clearly an option that at least deserves serious consideration. One hopes that it’s already the subject of intense consultations between Washington and Riyadh, preferably at the highest levels. Should the United States conclude that the potential benefits outweigh the risks, it will need to muster every instrument at its disposal to steel the Saudi king to take unprecedented measures to face down Iran’s unprecedented challenge.

Kommentar verfassen

Trage deine Daten unten ein oder klicke ein Icon um dich einzuloggen:


Du kommentierst mit deinem WordPress.com-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )


Du kommentierst mit deinem Facebook-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Verbinde mit %s

%d Bloggern gefällt das: