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Twenty-two U.S. senators last Wednesday forced a U.S. investigation of whether human rights sanctions should be imposed over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it would retaliate to possible economic sanctions taken by other states over the case of Khashoggi, the state news agency SPA reported quoting an official source.

The kingdom will respond to any measure against it with bigger measures, the source said, adding: "The Saudi economy has vital and influential roles for the global economy."

Saudi Arabia has been under pressure since Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Riyadh and a U.S. resident, disappeared on October 2 after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

On Sunday, Riyadh vowed to hit back against any action. “The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether through economic sanctions, political pressure or repeating false accusations,” it said.

“The kingdom also affirms that if it is [targeted by] any action, it will respond with greater action.” The statement also pointed out that the oil-rich kingdom “plays an effective and vital role in the world economy”.

The Saudi response came after the Tadawul exchange in Riyadh dropped by 7% at one point on Sunday, the week’s first day of trading in Saudi Arabia, with 182 of its 186 listed stocks showing losses by early afternoon. The market pulled back some of the losses, later trading down 4%.

Business leaders as well as media companies including Bloomberg and CNN have pulled out of an investment conference next week in Riyadh, dubbed “Davos in the desert”.

The belligerence of the statement is likely to anger those US senators already pressing for the Trump administration to take tough economic action against Riyadh, including sanctions.

"The kingdom confirms its categorical rejection of any threats and attempts to harm it by threatening to impose economic sanctions or the exercise of political pressure," the official added without elaborating.

Twenty-two U.S. senators last Wednesday forced a U.S. investigation of whether human rights sanctions should be imposed over the disappearance of Khashoggi.

In a letter, the senators said they had triggered a provision of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act requiring the president to determine whether a foreign person is responsible for a gross human rights violation.

The Global Magnitsky Act requires a report within 120 days of the letter with a decision on the imposition of sanctions on anyone deemed responsible for a serious rights violation such as torture, prolonged detention without trial or extrajudicial killing of someone exercising freedom of expression.

President Donald Trump said in a CBS interview on Saturday that there would be "severe punishment" for Saudi Arabia if it turns out that missing Saudi journalist Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. 

Asked whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave an order to kill him, Trump said "nobody knows yet, but we'll probably be able to find out." Trump added in excerpts of the "60 Minutes" interview that will air on Sunday "we would be very upset and angry if that were the case".

"We're going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment," Trump said. 

Trump has not described what punishment Saudi Arabia might face. He has indicated Washington does not want to harm close defense ties, saying the United States would be punishing itself if it halted sales of military equipment to Riyadh.

SAUDI ARABIA POTENTIAL RESPONSE

The information circulating within decision-making circles within the kingdom have gone beyond the rosy language used in the statement and discuss more than 30 potential measures to be taken against the imposition of sanctions on Riyadh. They present catastrophic scenarios that would hit the US economy much harder than Saudi Arabia’s economic climate.

If US sanctions are imposed on Saudi Arabia, the Saudis believe they will be facing an economic disaster that would rock the entire world. Riyadh is the capital of worldwide oil, and touching Saudi would affect oil production before any other vital commodity. It would lead to Saudi Arabia's failure to commit to producing 7.5 million barrels.

Said one official "If the price of oil reaching $80 angered President Trump, no one should rule out the price jumping to $100, or $200, or even double that figure."

Stunningly, other Saudi Officials actually said "An oil barrel may be priced in a different currency, Chinese yuan, perhaps, instead of the dollar. And oil is the most important commodity traded by the dollar today."

All of this will throw the Middle East, the entire Muslim world, into the arms of Iran, which will become closer to Riyadh than Washington.

One Saudi pointed out that imposing any type of sanctions on Saudi Arabia by the West will cause the kingdom to resort to other options, as US President Donald Trump had said a few days ago, and that Russia and China are ready to fulfill Riyadh’s military needs among others.

He went on to say that no one can deny that repercussions of these sanctions will include a Russian military base in Tabuk, northwest of Saudi Arabia, in the heated four corners of Syria, Israel, Lebanon and Iraq.

At a time where Hamas and Hezbollah have turned from enemies into friends, getting this close to Russia will lead to a closeness to Iran and maybe even a reconciliation with it.

Another Saudi official said "It will not be strange that Riyadh would stop buying weapons from the US. Riyadh is the most important customer of US companies, as Saudi Arabia buys 10 percent of the total weapons that these US companies produce, and buys 85 percent from the US army which means what’s left for the rest of the world is only five percent; in addition to the end of Riyadh’s investments in the US government which reaches $800 billion."

The US will also be deprived of the Saudi market which is considered one of the top 20 economies in the world.

These are simple procedures that are part of over 30 others that Riyadh will implement directly, without flinching an eye if sanctions are imposed on it, according to Saudi sources who are close to the decision-makers.

The truth is that if Washington imposes sanctions on Riyadh, it will stab its own economy to death, even though it thinks that it is stabbing only Riyadh.

So **IF** the Saudi government actually did order the murder of a Journalist, it seems they intend to flex their oil and economic muscle to try to get away with it. The US and the world may face a severe conundrum.

 

 

 

 

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  • Comment held for moderation.
    jo · 10:39 10/15/2018
    Kashoggi died in Turkey not in the US. Therefor the US can do one, and keep its nose out................Turkey investigates and indicts if necessary not the US.
  • Comment held for moderation.
    Simmje · 22:46 10/14/2018
    Why waste time? First strikes against Riyadh and Mecca. Then take over the Saudi oil fields.
    • Comment held for moderation.
      Ragnner · 23:48 10/15/2018
      agree !! since everyone is looking for war why not bomb the fhit of it!
    • Comment held for moderation.
      jo · 10:41 10/15/2018
      You wont last five minutes without Saudi money.
    • Comment held for moderation.
      cv · 00:28 10/15/2018
      Gull Island, West Tex and the Bakken have US as top oil producer by 2020. We wont need them any more
  • Comment held for moderation.
    Sammy · 18:32 10/14/2018
    The only reason they don't kick those. royal jews out is our fleet in the Gulf.
  • Comment held for moderation.
    Sherlock · 17:42 10/14/2018
    Saudi Arabia pushed Wahabism everywhere and was the cause of 9/11 (if you do not think the CIA/MOSSAD did 9/11) and provided most of the terrorists.....
    Why didn't we invade S.A. and attacked Afghanistan & Iraq instead?
  • Comment held for moderation.
    Velocitraptor · 14:13 10/14/2018
    Oil talks, everyone else walks!
  • Comment held for moderation.
    candice99 · 14:11 10/14/2018
    In the very close world in wich the power of economy is no more enough

    usa and russia can get their oil when and how they want.

    in the very future they don't need explane why.
  • Comment held for moderation.
    Jeff Spinner · 13:19 10/14/2018
    The reporter recorded his own torture, death, and placement of his dead body because he turned on the iWatch he was wearing live tracking features.

    Erdogan isn't the only person with the recordings.
  • Comment held for moderation.
    Brianroy · 13:17 10/14/2018
    The number of US oil rigs are rising back up under Trump. Last October they were around 936. Now they stand at 1052 or so, and will still be adding more. Iran with Russia will undercut Saudi oil soon. A major gas and oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea is now diplomatically finally just about complete, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/08/business/energy-environment/caspian-sea-deal-eases-access.html

    with the final pipeline ending point being at refineries in southern Germany. Once the project is in full operation (see map of at https://eegas.com/southstream1.htm ) the upkick in natural gas will decrease some European oil needs with some dependence transitioning beginning almost immediately.

    Iran has sold 9 million barrels of oil to India, and India is now an eco-partner with Russia and Iran, but still will get a waiver on Iranian purchases from the USA from being hurt by our sanctions on them (and to some extent, vice-versa)
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-iran-sanctions/u-s-actively-considering-waivers-on-iran-oil-sanctions-idUSKCN1MF2JO

    and likely will soon see .5 to as many as 1 million barrels per day coming from Iran IF there are no complications, alleviating the market. Petrobras is clearing the way to glut or over-produce into the North American and European market, and the USA and Canada are fast moving to a point of a 3 - 6 month turn on capability where we can just about shut down off of Saudi oil completely, if a national emergency ever requires it, and maintain that position indefinitely from most all non-Western Hemisphere oil imports within 2 years time. We have reached that potential under a President Trump, but the investment to turn it all on rests with the Independent Oil Corporations themselves. Will we see energy indepence before the end of a second Trump term? We can only hope, but even an 80% decrease in dependence would be fabulous and ATTAINABLE.
  • Comment held for moderation.
    A Tad Bit Hypocritic · 12:56 10/14/2018
    Let's think this thing through....

    How many whistleblowers and journalists in the USA have been Arkanscided through the years? Why is the USA suddenly gaining a conscience and willing to employ sanctions when a so-called ally is accused of doing something the USA allegedly has occurrences of?
    • Comment held for moderation.
      Joe Blow · 17:46 10/14/2018
      German press says Kashoggi was a spook. Today John Brennan points the finger at Saudi Arabia. My guess is that Kashoggi was one of John Brennan's spooks.
  • Comment held for moderation.
    Bulets'NBeans · 12:32 10/14/2018
    God?
  • Comment held for moderation.
    MR. TRUTH! · 11:53 10/14/2018
    The United States cannot turn a blind eye to the Premeditated Murder of Journalists, regardless of the economic costs to us. It was Free Speech and Freedom of the Press that we fought for in 1776 and upon which our Country was founded!
    • Comment held for moderation.
      All An Illusion · 20:10 10/14/2018
      Free speech? Free press? You're living in an illusion, MR. TRUTH.

      Any TRUTH that the gatekeepers don't outright censor, the political-correctedness mob silences.
    • Comment held for moderation.
      Sammy · 18:29 10/14/2018
      There is no freedom of the press when it is controlled by a tribe of jews who do not allow this.Try again.Mr Truth study your history
    • Comment held for moderation.
      Bigfoot Wallace · 12:23 10/14/2018
      We do NOT have any "journalists" anymore (maybe a handful, but they are heavily censored) and I never heard of this guy or anything he has ever done. There is plenty of other scumbags here in the USA that need the same treatment for their crimes and sedition!!
  • Comment held for moderation.
    Too Coincidental · 11:39 10/14/2018
    Timing of the release of the Christian minister in Turkey along with the murder of this journalist allegedly by Saudi Arabia...simply is too coincidental. One story makes Turkey appear like a saint in the eyes of US, while the other is portraying Saudi Arabia as an enemy. Seems too coordinated in timing...linked...scripted. But who exactly might be directing the theatre? Israel, perhaps?
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