Saudi Arabia halts $4B in Lebanese deals amid Iran dispute | Inside Blip 11111
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Inside Blip

Saudi Arabia halts $4B in Lebanese deals amid Iran dispute

Riyadh cut diplomatic ties with Tehran last month after demonstrators stormed its embassy and a consulate following the Saudi execution of a prominent Saudi Shiite cleric and activist.

On Friday, a Saudi official was quoted by state-run Saudi Press Agency as saying the Iran-backed Hezbollah had “hijacked the will of the state in Lebanon” and “is perpetrating terrorism against Saudi Arabia, the Arab nation and the Muslim nation”. Iran, however, has refused to join, reiterating its plan to crank up output and regain lost market share after the worldwide sanctions against Tehran were lifted in January.
Nasrallah said the two countries have pushed to send worldwide ground forces to Syria because they “are not ready to accept a political solution to the conflict in Syria, which is why they want to continue the war and destroy it”.
Saudi Arabia long has been suspicious of Iran, which also supports Syria’s embattled President Bashar Assad.
Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a key ally of Saudi Arabia, blamed the suspension on the Shiite group Hezbollah and its Christian ally, the Free Patriotic Movement.
“The announcement also said Saudi Arabia supported Lebanon “without any discrimination between Lebanese sects or segments”.
An unnamed Saudi official claimed that the “so-called Hezbollah” has “confiscated” the will of Lebanon and is taking the lead against the kingdom, as well as other Arab and Islamic nations.
The Ministry issued a statement on Friday expressing solidarity with the Saudi initiative based on the “hijacking” of Lebanon’s foreign policy by the Iran-allied Lebanese militant group Hezbullah, according to a report by national news agency WAM.
The Lebanese army, however, serves as unifying factor in the country and recruits its members from all confessions.
Hezbollah leaders are under sanction by Saudi Arabia, as well as by much of the West.
The current oil crisis is not a product of another supply and demand cycle, but the result of a structural shift caused by the ascent of shale oil in the United States and the loss of Saudi Arabia’s ability to control global oil prices. The Saudi pledge by the late King Abdullah, announced in December 2013, was described at the time as the largest-ever single grant to the Lebanese armed forces.
Even if all Opec members, including Iran, agree to comply with the target, high production will still keep oil prices low, depressing the economic outlook for Gulf states.
A preliminary agreement between Russia and three OPEC countries on a possible crude production freeze at January levels implies Russian output could grow by between 1.7% and 1.9% year on year, deputy energy minister Kirill Molodtsov said.
Gambrell reported from Dubai.

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