What is behind the introduction of US sanctions against Saudi Arabia?
On February 26, 2021, US intelligence published a detailed report on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which occurred in 2018. The document shows that the terrorist operation was personally sanctioned by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman.
Moreover, on the basis of "facts uncovered by intelligence", as stated by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, the United States imposed personal sanctions against 76 Saudi citizens, including the persons subordinates and close to the Prince.
What is going on may seem strange. The basis of American world's dominance is the dominance of the dollar, which in its turn leans on the "oil for dollars" agreement, which was reached with Saudi Arabia from the 1970s, as the main overseer of the world oil market. It would seem why would Biden "shoot himself in the foot”?
But the picture looks like that only at first glance. The real world has changed somewhat.
America is no longer a country. The team that won the presidential election there is represented by multinational financial corporations that want to gain direct control over "all the money in the world”. They are no longer interested in intermediaries.
Realising this, the leadership of Saudi Arabia tried to show obstinacy, declaring an interest in purchasing three (according to other sources – four) regiments of S-400 “Triumpf” from Russia, as well as replacing the decently outdated and well-worn 200 F-15 Eagles in the Kingdom's Air Force with Russian Su-35S fighters. Well, and other small things - from the Kornet ATGM to the TOS-1A heavy flamethrower systems and AK-103 submachine guns.
It should be noted that this Saudi "interest" has been demonstrated not for the first time. For example, during the last geopolitical bidding in 2017, they also tried to show Washington that "we can also go to Moscow". And they also did not go, still yielding to Trump's pressure, signing an extension of the US military procurement program for $17 billion.
So Riyadh indeed bluffed, but the enemy either believed in this bluff, or considered it as an unacceptable arrogance, for the very fact of which the obstinate person is subject to a demonstrative flogging. And the enemy threatened to publish a US national intelligence report proving the direct involvement of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
What for? After all, the stake in this game is the management of the capital of the Sovereign Fund of Saudi Arabia, with assets of $390 billion invested in more than 200 projects in 47 countries. It is the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world. "Unknown fathers" want to pick it up for themselves, while the Saudi monarchy does not want to give up the treasury. And it's impossible to bring this game to the public sphere. That's why the circuitous manoeuvres are undertaken.
After the "Washington warning", a telephone conversation took place between the United States and the KSA. It reportedly lasted more than 2.5 hours. What exactly was condemned remains a mystery. But judging by the fact that the White House published the intelligence report and imposed sanctions against 76 Saudis officially, it seems that the parties did not find agreement. And now the "Unknown fathers" put a stake on the change of the leader in the ruling house of Saud, from the current one, too obstinate, to someone more compliant.
The petrodollar has already nothing to do with what is going on. If in 1973, in order to trade oil for dollars, the Americans needed the active support of a leading supplier, then by now the system has finally developed, and Washington no longer needs their services. This means that it's possible to not stand on ceremony with the intermediary. Especially when they began to "think too much" about themselves