“Saudi Arabia taking larger role in pressuring Iran”

“Saudi Arabia taking larger role in pressuring Iran”
October 1-7, 2009
     Saudi Arabia is reportedly close to signing a deal worth $4-7 billion to purchase Russia’s S-400 missile defense system under the condition that Russia does not sell its S-300 system to Iran. Analysts believe the deal is part of a wider effort by Saudi Arabia to diversify its list of arms suppliers (United Press International, Agence France-Presse). In an overview of Iran’s attempts to purchase Russia’s S-300 system [previously covered here], Christian Caryl argues that Russia will not want to lose its position as the leading arms supplier to Iran, adding that China has reportedly offered Iran a “cheaper knockoff” of the Russian S-300 (Foreign Policy). The GCC is hoping to use economic incentives to persuade Russia and China to isolate Iran [previously reported here].
     Iranian website Asr-e Iran reports that the US is urging Saudi Arabia to increase its oil production to lower prices and pressure China to agree to sanctions against Iran (MEMRI). However, in an earlier analysis, Simon Henderson argues that Riyadh is satisfied with current oil prices and concerned that sharp price fluctuations could undermine global economic recovery, while the state-owned Saudi Aramco oil company will protect its monopoly on exploration and production against Chinese investors (Washington Institute for Near East Policy).
United Press International | Agence France-Presse | Foreign Policy | MEMRI | Washington Institue for Near East Policy

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