Aid ship docks in Yemen after being blocked by Saudis

Special to A World Food Program (WFP) ship carrying humanitarian aid docked in Yemen on March 2 nearly a month after being diverted to Saudi Arabia. Saudi said it blocked the shipment on Feb. 11 because the vessel, the Mainport Cedar, was carrying communications equipment. The ship was carrying relief supplies to the port […]

Saudi increases oil exports to China by 36 percent in shot at Iran

Special to In increasing its oil exports to China, Saudi Arabia has fired a “shot across Iran’s bow,” industry analysts say. Saudi shipments of oil to China rose by 36 percent in February to the highest level in at least three years, according to ClipperData, a firm that tracks global crude shipments. Analysts seized […]

Saudi cleric on ISIL hit list shot in Philippines

Special to A prominent Saudi cleric who is on Islamic State of Iraq and Levant’s (ISIL’s) hit list was shot and wounded in the Philippines on March 1. Sheikh Aaidh al-Qarni and Saudi diplomat Sheikh Turki Assaegh were both wounded in an assassination attempt as they left a university auditorium in the southern port […]

Report: High-level Israeli delegation secretly visited Saudi Arabia

Special to Israel has confirmed it has been secretly communicating with Sunni Arab states, including a recent high-level visit by an Israeli delegation to Saudi Arabia. The Sunni states “are not shaking hands [with Israelis] in public, but we meet in closed rooms,” Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said. The meeting in Riyadh last […]

Saudis lose EU spin battle with Iran on arms embargo over civilian casualties in Yemen

Special to Saudi officials believe Iran’s intervention likely led to a European parliament vote on an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia. The vote was called because of reported heavy civilian casualties caused by the Saudi-led coalition in its war against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. Saudi representatives were working on Feb. 25 to persuade […]

Saudi oil minister to struggling producers: ‘get out’ of the market

Special to Saudi Arabia’s oil minister had a message for high-cost producers on Feb. 23: Saudi is quite content to ride out low prices and those who aren’t should “get out” of the market. “Inefficient, uneconomic producers will have to get out, that is tough to say, but that’s fact,” Ali Al-Naimi said after […]

Iran calls proposed oil-output freeze ‘ridiculous’

Special to Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has dismissed a proposal by Russia and three OPEC members to freeze oil production as “ridiculous.” Zanganeh said on February 23 that the proposal by Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Qatar for crude oil producers to cap production at January […]

Iranian official: Joining oil output freeze would be ‘illogical’

Special to Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty A senior Iranian official is reported as saying it would be “illogical” for Tehran to join a proposed oil output freeze. Iranian newspaper Shargh quoted Iran’s OPEC envoy Mehdi Asali as saying Tehran would continue to increase oil production until it reaches presanction levels. The comments […]

Russia, Saudi Arabia agree to oil-output freeze

Special to Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty Russia and Saudi Arabia, the world’s two largest crude producers, have agreed to freeze output, as long as others follow suit. Freezing output at January levels will be “adequate,” Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said on February 16 after talks with Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak […]

China launches major Saudi refinery project

Special to Chinese President Xi Jinping was on hand for the Feb. 16 launch ceremony for China’s largest investment project in Saudi Arabia, the Yasref oil refinery. Xi told reporters the refinery, which covers more than 5 million square meters in the city of Yanbu on Saudi’s west coast, conforms to the Saudi national […]

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