RUSSIA AND CHINA TRYING TO MEDIATE BETWEEN SAUDI ARABIA AND IRANJanuary 10, 2016
In the light of last Thursday's News and Views from the Nefarium, this story, while predictable, seems to be unfolding faster than I(or anyone else) can blog about it. You'll recall that in last Thursday's News and Views I mentioned, briefly, that the Iraqi Prime Minsiter, Mr. Abadi, had recently journeyed to Beijing, seeking Chinese help in rebuilding his country (hey, wait a minute, I thought that's what Mr. Cheney and Halliburton were supposed to be doing), and seeking Chinese military help in handling ISIS. Notably, he did not ask the West, or the USA for its help. As regular readers here know, last year I began to suggest that Saudi Arabia was "on the menu" and that if Mr Global wanted his bright shiny New World Order, it would be difficult to impossible to do so when radical Islamicism was in the picture. Similarly, I also suggested that the same probelm - Islamism - was a huge obstacle to China's :"silk road" scheme and its plans to build up central Asian infrastructure and high speed rail with Russia, connecting Asia and Europe.
In that context, consider these two stories that many regular readers here noticed and passed along:
This was of course an entirely predictable move, and expect more of the same. But for our high octane speculations of the day, I want to recall the recent decisions of the Saudi regime to do two unprecedented things: (1) sell sovereign bonds, to make up for budget shortfalls due to the plunging price of oil, and (2) to take Aramco public, and sell shares in the oil and petroleum giant. There are all sorts of possibilities that these twin openings provide, for any country or group wanting to exercise influence over the internal and external policies of the desert kingdom. Imagine, for a moment, if Russia and/or China, were to buy large blocks of these securities or shares. Their ability to inject themselves as mediators in the growing tensions between Riyadh and Tehran would increase, and additionally legitimize their mediatory presence. Conceivably, it would also increase their diplomatic leverage vis-a-vis Turkey, which, as I suggested in Thursday's News and Views, constitutes a major problem for China vis-a-vis Turkish connections to terrorist cells in China's far west, and strategically located, Xinjiang province. Such a move might, at one level, be viewed as being counter to European and American interests in the region. But I also suggest (more high octane speculation here), that this would in effect constitute an open door of opportunity for the West to reinject itself and its influence in the region in a more balanced way, by way of a long tgerm reassessment of their relationships and policiies, especially vis-a-vis the Saudis and their abysmal human rights track record.
Time, of course, will tell if any of these ideas and speculations on possible future geopolitical and financial moves have any merit. That said, there is another high octane speculation lurking in the background as a possibility, and that concerns the demonstrations in Tehran that led to the firebombing of the Saudi embassy in the first place. Quite evidentaly, Iran, with its calls for swift prosecution of those involved, may not have been a willing party to the deed. And that raises the possibility that perhaps agents provocateur were in the crowd, and precipitated the event, to bring about the results that have since happened, namely, the break in relations between Tehran and Riyadh and the closure of the Saudi embassy. And if that be a possibility, then all sorts of further possibilities are immediately implicated in just who would benefit from such a "false flag" operation.
And here, the possibilities are endless.
In short, this is yet another one of those stories to watch in 2016.
See you on the flip side...