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Trump thanks Saudi Arabia for cheap oil after Khashoggi murder pass

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trump saudi arabia sword dancing
US
President Donald Trump dances with a sword as he arrives to a
welcome ceremony by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al
Saud at Al Murabba Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on May 20,
2017.

Thomson
Reuters


  • President Donald Trump thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
    for keeping oil prices low a day after he refused to blame Crown
    Prince Mohammed Bin Salman for having his critic, Jamal
    Khashoggi, murdered in Turkey.
  • Maintaining low oil prices has become a key issue for Trump
    as he reimposes sanctions on Iran’s oil sector after withdrawing
    from the multi-national nuclear pact.
  • Saudi Arabia has crucially raised oil output to keep prices
    down while Trump hits Iran with sanctions.
  • But Trump’s near exoneration of Saudi Arabia’s monarchs in
    the killing has met with bipartisan disgust.

President Donald Trump thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for
keeping oil prices low a day after he refused to blame Crown
Prince Mohammed Bin Salman for having his critic, Jamal
Khashoggi, murdered in Turkey. 

“Oil prices getting lower. Great! Like a big Tax Cut for America
and the World. Enjoy! $54, was just $82. Thank you to Saudi
Arabia, but let’s go lower!” Trump tweeted on Wednesday.

Maintaining low oil prices has become a key issue for Trump as he
reimposes sanctions on Iran’s oil sector after withdrawing from
the multi-national nuclear pact.


Read more:
Trump’s manic statement letting
Saudi Arabia off the hook for Khashoggi reveals a dark US
secret

The sanctions could have caused a spike in oil prices, which US
consumers would have felt at the pump, but Saudi Arabia, a
US ally and Iran’s bitter regional foe, has picked up oil output
and successfully counteracted any price surge.

Trump’s thank you note to Saudi Arabia comes one day after he
issued a bizarre statement on whether Saudi’s current ruler may
have ordered the brutal execution of a US resident.

“[I]t could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of
this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” Trump’s
exclamation-ridden statement read.

A Washington Post report last week said the CIA concluded with
high confidence” that the
crown prince directly ordered for Khashoggi’s killing.

Trump’s statement opened with a condemnation of Iran’s regional
activity, including their role in the bloody seven-year-long war
in Syria.

In it, Trump also made dubious
statements
about the impact on the US economy from arms sales
to Saudi Arabia and  repeatedly gave the kingdom the benefit
of the doubt and ascribed to them the best of intentions in the
horrific conflict in Yemen.

The statement drew nearly universal, bipartisan
condemnation
as being indelicate and an abdication of the
US’s mandate to promote human rights worldwide.

Relying on Saudi Arabia to avoid oil price spikes may have tied
Trump’s hands

But on managing the re-imposition of Iran sanctions, Trump has greatly succeeded.
He managed to avoid the spike in oil prices by coordinating with
Saudi Arabia and granting waivers to some of Iran’s biggest oil
clients.


Read more:

Trump has his cake and eats it too with sanctions tanking Iran’s
economy and oil staying low

The waivers allowed countries to purchase oil from Iran and leave
the money in an escrow account.

But according to Tony Badran, an Iran expert at the Foundation
for Defense of Democracies, the reliance on Saudi Arabia in
easing a potential oil spike may have tied Trump’s hands in
dealing with Khashoggi’s murder.

“If you are trying to impose oil sanctions while giving waivers
and trying to do it in a way that doesn’t destabilize markets,
the last thing you’d want to do is create a massive crisis in
Saudi Arabia,” Badran told Business Insider.

Turkish media and intelligence leaks have fanned the flames of
the Khashoggi saga for over a month now, which Sanam Vakil, a
senior consulting research fellow in Chatham House’s Middle East
North Africa Programme, told Business Insider may have served as
a warning for Trump not to overly rely on the kingdom.

“For [Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan] this is an
opportunity to remind Washington that all is not well in the
house of Saud, and they shouldn’t put all their eggs in one
basket,” Vakil said.

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