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Newly leaked Pentagon papers showed that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmon threatened the United States with economic calamity over oil production decisions, according to the Washington Post.
Relations between U.S. President Biden and Saudi Arabia's bin Salman have been sour since before President Biden took office, with the latter threatening to make bin Salman a pariah. But newly leaked Pentagon documents suggested that Saudi Arabia's decision to cut production last October started a whole level of chilly for the duo’s relationship.
Following Saudi Arabia's decision to cut oil production along with fellow OPEC+ members, President Biden—battling inflation at home and fearing production cuts would worsen the situation—had promised OPEC+ that there would be "consequences".
"I am in the process, when the House and Senate gets back, they're going to have to – there's going to be some consequences for what they've done with Russia," President Biden told CNN's Jake Tapper last October.
In response to President Biden's threat, the documents show that HRH threatened the United States with "major economic consequences."
Bin Salman said he would "not deal with the US administration anymore," according to the document, adding that there would be "major economic consequences for Washington."
It is unclear whether these comments were made directly to a US official or whether it was merely an intercepted conversation.
Saudi Arabia again moved to cut production as recently as last week—this time volunteering to cut an additional 1 million barrels per day from its already reduced production targets. The move would normally raise the hackles of the U.S. Administration, which already seems to have a bone to pick with Mohammad bin Salman over what the U.S. considers to be his role in the killing of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi. But oil prices failed to elevate and stay that way following the cut, diminishing the likelihood of any meaningful U.S. response.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.