Saudi-Russian relations have been underpinned by their need to keep global oil prices up, and recent statements by both countries suggest that their cooperation could expand. This should be alarming for the United States.
The failed outcome of last Sunday’s summit in Doha by top oil exporters was no surprise. Iran’s oil minister, Bijan Zangeneh, from the outset considered it to a politically toxic event to be avoided. He did not go nor did he send a replacement. As Zangeneh put it to Iranian state television, “It [does not] make sense to send any representative from the Islamic Republic, as we are not part of the decision to freeze output.”
In this week's Monday Briefing, MEI experts Paul Salem, Herman Franssen, and Robert Ford provide analysis on recent events including Obama's Last GCC Summit, the Doha Oil Summit, and Iraq's Cabinet Change.
This essay examines China-Iran trade relations, as well as Chinese investments in Iran. Particularly, it asks whether the Chinese-Iranian stated ambition to increase the value of bilateral trade to $600 billion within a decade is attainable. Additionally, it identifies the factors responsible for the trade deficit in Iran’s favor, and shows that the pace of China’s foreign direct investment (F.D.I) in Iran is slowing in spite of absolute increases.
Since Oman and South Korea established official diplomatic ties in 1974, trade has largely defined the Muscat-Seoul relationship. Oman’s oil and liquefied natural gas (L.N.G.) and South Korea’s automobiles, electronics, and large vessels have dominated bilateral trade. Yet as Seoul stakes out increasingly vital national interests in the volatile Middle East, a host of geopolitical and security trends will more meaningfully influence the future of Omani-Korean relations.
Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani warned Qataris in November that due to tumbling oil prices, the government could no longer “provide for everything.” The following month he addressed “wasteful spending, overstaffing and a lack of accountability,” sending a clear message that austerity measures were on the way.