Originally appeared at DWN, translated by Karin exclusively for SouthFront
Members of the Saudi royal family appear to be preparing to go to exile. They are selling as much oil as possible in order to move petro-dollars out of the country. The declining oil price doesn’t matter. Clear signals are coming from the USA that the days of the incumbent clans are counted.
In the first quarter of the current year oil exports from Saudi Arabia have increased by 3.5 percent compared to the same quarter of the previous year, reported by Fuelfix. Last year, about 61 percent of Saudi oil exports went to Asia. In the current year so far 65 percent of all Saudi oil exports have gone to Asia. Of this 14 percent alone was exported to China. In the comparison between countries the United States is the most important market for Saudi oil. In March the Saudi oil exports to the US reached with a daily volume of 1.28 million barrels an eleven-month record high.
In December Oilprice.com reported that Saudi Arabia, despite falling oil prices is increasing its oil exports. The country sells its oil now at any price. At the same time, the country is resisting calls for the reduction of its oil production. Instead, the Kingdom is calling for a reduction of Russia and Iran’s production, by their own account, to achieve an oil price recovery.
According to previous media reports, Riyadh wanted to harm in particular Russia and Iran with this policy, both of which are regarded as rivals in the Middle East. But the biggest objective damages suffered the Kingdom itself. The foreign exchange reserves of the country have fallen dramatically due to the oil price decline. The state budget cannot be financed anymore in the usual way.
Therefore, this attitude cannot alone be explained with the fact that Saudi Arabia would only wants to weaken Russia and Iran. The Kingdom has in the past few decades the earned petrodollars primarily in US bonds and US assets invested. A significant portion of the funds apparently ended up in US offshore centers such as Delaware, Wyoming and Nevada. The Panama Papers confirm that the Saudi royal family parked funds in tax havens.
This whole process has accelerated since the conflicts in the Middle East and the unrest in their own country. The Saudi royal family fears a coup and is apparently preparing themselves for the period after and a new home in exile.
The former Chief of Staff at the Pentagon, Lawrence Wilkerson, told the German Economic News: “It has to be clear that the Arab Spring – I call it Arab Winter – is not over yet. The kings and emirs of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar and others are all scared. The world is changing, and these emirs and kings are on the wrong side of history. Their days are numbered.”
Saudi Arabia is directly involved in the conflicts in Yemen and Syria and these conflicts affect polarizing on the internal politics of the country. In addition to the Shiites, there are other groups in the country who do not share the foreign policy of the royal family.
But there are also critical people among the Saudi princes who advocate the overthrow of the Saudi monarchy, the Guardian reports. According to these people, the Kingdom is no longer acceptable, because it has lost its legitimacy.
Defense One reported: “There is absolutely no Saudi Arabian government. It is an unstable place that is so corrupt that it resembles a criminal organization and the United States should prepare for the time after. ”
The air gets thinner for the Saudi royal family. The bigger the conflict situation in the region is, the more oil the country is selling to subsequently bring the profits out of the country.
Even US President Obama calls now for “democratic reforms” of Riyadh. He points to the need for these reforms to prevent unrest in Saudi Arabia. The same rhetoric Obama used shortly before the outbreak of the Syrian conflict in 2011 towards the government in Damascus. Afterwards the abroad financed Syria conflict erupted.