Still here, just busy!
My apologies to readers – the blog has been a bit dormant of late. I have no excuse, I’ve just been completely swamped with things, and the blog has had to take a backseat accordingly…
OPEC & Geopolitics
I couldn’t help notice the insistence of OPEC – or, more specifically Saudi Arabia – on continuing to over-saturate the market with oil, leading to a collapse in oil prices (although I don’t expect that to be reflected in our BELCO bills anytime soon…).
All three of these countries have been, shall one say, ‘at odds’ with the interests of Saudi Arabia and the USA (Saudi Arabia and the USA also having some tension too).
Russia and Iran have been central to the proxy war in Syria-Iraq, providing key diplomatic, financial and military support to the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad and (more Iran here) the Shia-dominated Iraqi government. Even Venezuela has played a minor role in criticising Western and Saudi interference in Syria.
Saudi Arabia and Iran have also been waging proxy wars, to various degrees, throughout the region, notably in Bahrain (where a de facto Saudi military invasion has prevented the overthrow of the minority Sunni dictatorship) and Yemen (where Shia Houthi rebels are increasingly the dominant power).
And despite a thawing of US-Iran relations, notably over the mutual opposition to Da’ish in Iraq, the US and Iran have been political rivals in the region for over three decades now.
Venezuela has been less of an issue to Saudi Arabia than it has to the USA, being as it is in closer proximity to the US and what the US regards as its ‘backyard’.
However, socialist Venezuela has developed strategic relationships with Iran (and Syria) and Russia, and been critical of Western and Saudi interference in North Africa and the Middle East (especially as regards the overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya and the Saudi financed coup against Morsi in Egypt).
Over-saturating the oil market, causing a collapse in the oil price, directly impacts Iran, Russia and Venezuela – it weakens them financially, which subsequently weakens them politically. At least in Venezuela, and to a lesser extent Russia and Iran, this could lead to political ruptures, serving as a pretext for proxy actors to attempt a coup or psuedo-revolution.
Am I in tin-foil hat territory? Perhaps. However, we know the West has cynically hijacked legitimate democratic protests to effect regime change, and we know the West has engaged in economic terrorism to facilitate regime change – as has Saudi Arabia.
So, who knows? Even if I am seeing a conspiracy where there’s none, who wants to bet the consequences will be the same – a weakened Iran, Russia and Venezuela, and even perhaps regime change?