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Raymond J. Learsy

Raymond J. Learsy

Posted: December 8, 2010 08:02 AM

Perhaps it was only a dream, perhaps it was a WikiLeaks moment, but whatever, I hasten to pass along the news I stumbled upon.
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Dateline Riyadh:

We here in Saudi Arabia are fully cognizant of the existential danger that Iran and its nuclear program now presents to Saudi Arabia and to the peace and well being of the Gulf region; that a conflagration would not only be cataclysmic to Saudi Arabia and its neighboring states but to the world at large.

Saudi Arabia also understands that beseeching the United States to "cut off the head of the snake," meaning the government of Iran, is unbecoming to its dignity and standing in the world. This especially so in that a U.S. naval task force, at a cost of some $100 million/day to American taxpayers, is already patrolling what we here identify as the Arabian Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz not only to keep shipping lanes open but, as is understood, to also act as protector of the Saudi coastline and as guarantor of Saudi Arabia itself against any Iranian aggression.

Saudi Arabia further understands that it must assume responsibility for its lax oversight of illicit funding of terrorist organizations directly or indirectly through Saudi entities, financial institutions, extremists organizations and wayward citizens that has done much to destabilize the region and has brought opprobrium to the Saudi State.

Given its worldwide standing and influence the moment has come for Saudi Arabia to pick up the mantle of leadership in dealing with the issue of an irredentist Iran which is heading the region toward a draconian crisis.

Saudi Arabia has also come to understand that the blessings of its vast oil reserves imparts unto it not only a path to vast riches, but also vests it with major obligations and responsibilities. Henceforward it will exercise these responsibilities in a manner worthy of its standing and traditions, to bring honor and peace to a troubled region and to win the respect of the family of nations.

It is well understood that Iran's oppression of its people and its nuclear ambitions are financed almost exclusively by its production and export of oil. Income from oil is almost the sole source of revenue for its oppressive and clearly illegitimate regime. Without oil revenues the government would falter (please see "Putting a Stop to Iran's Nuclear Ambitions... 09.27.09) and shortly the vast amounts of Iran's wealth directed toward nuclear development and its missile program would come to a halt.

Saudi Arabia understands that one of the great fears extant in the world is that the disruption of Iran's oil shipments would cause the price of oil to increase dramatically thereby setting back an already tenuous economic recovery.

With the cooperation of the world's oil consumers Saudi Arabia has it within its purview to bring to an end the malign regime in Iran without a shot being fired while maintaining the free flow of oil assuring that the world's economies are not impacted in any way by either oil scarcity or higher costs -- which has always been of grave concern in any scenario envisaging confrontation with Iran.

Saudi Arabia with the help of consuming nations and responsible governments worldwide will call for a total boycott on purchases of Iranian crude. It can and will make available the consequent shortfall of Iranian shipments by increasing its own production to levels replacing normal Iranian oil exports, and more, to assure price stability. Not a shot needs be fired, no warships need be engaged. The world would simply stop buying Iranian oil which would be replaced by Saudi Arabia alone if necessary but preferably in coordination with other Gulf producers such as Kuwait, the U.A.E., Bahrain all of whom would be equally vulnerable to a bellicose Iran.

For all to comprehend the parameters under which the Saudi nation is taking this initiative one needs understand that Iran exports some 2 million barrels of oil a day. Saudi Arabia's oil production capacity is 12.5 million barrels/day. Currently, and for the last few years Saudi production has been but 8.5 million barrels/day leaving an excess production capability of four million barrels/day. That is twice the export loadings of Iran of two million barrels. Saudi Arabia would replace these 2 million barrels of Iranian shortfall and more if needed, to assure that there are no market distortions.

It would continue doing so until the current Iranian regime is dissolved and the Iranian people are free to choose its successor.
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Well, if sometime in the near or distant future you read this or something similar, perhaps not so far fetched reportage, remember you read it here first.