Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Obama To Meet Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah On Iran

(image via thesun)

BreakingNews is reporting: "The White House says President Obama will meet the Saudi king in Riyadh next week to discuss mid-east peace, Iran and terrorism."

And probably oil, which, since Memorial Day -- the height of summer driving season -- has been on the rise (it hit its 6-month high today). And as oil rises, Iran is disincentivized to give up their nuclearlization, thus exacerbating their ability to undermine the Middle East peace process vis-a-vis Hamas and, in concert with their proxy Hezbollah and Syria, the untenable situation in Lebanon. Let's not even entertain what rising oil prices could do to a United States already in deep recession.

The conversation will be difficult. President Obama arrives in Riyadh as the largest Arab economy is projecting its first budget deficit in over five years. Today King Abdullah said, "We still believe that a fair price is $75 and perhaps $80 a barrel, especially now." Oil at anything more than $70 a barrel empowers Iranian monkeybusiness.

Lower oil prices, however, weaken President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. And that helps his challenger, Mir Hussein Moussavi, with only a few weeks left before Iranian national elections.

Curiouser and curiouser ...

Diplomatically, Obama will touch down on Saudi soil on June 3rd, one day before delivering his major speech in Egypt, the traditional intellectual capital of the Arab world. Meaningful. There will be no public events, but we imagine lots of behind-the-scenes talk of the Persians.

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