In this environment us intelligence officials and

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Unformatted text preview: ents Division of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 12-11, [“The Saudi-Iranian Rivalry and the Future of Middle East Security,” Strategic Studies Institute, http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/display.cfm? pubID=1094 Iran seeks to expand its power in the Gulf, which is a key area of competition between the two states. Saudi Arabia and to varying extents other Gulf Arab states often seek to contain Iran’s quest for dominance. In the struggle for Gulf influence, Saudi Arabia has consistently maintained a vastly higher level of political clout with local states than Iran. Iran currently cannot hope to overshadow Saudi regional influence in the Gulf, but it does seek to influence Gulf Arab states and is especially interested in pressuring them to minimize or eliminate their military links to the West. In recent years, Sunni-Shi’ite tension in the Gulf seems to have been rising for a number of reasons. Such problems reached a high point with the March 2011 Saudiled military intervention in Bahrain. Consequently, it is increasingly likely that the rivalry between Riyadh and Tehran will intensify in the near future. In this environment, U.S. intelligence officials and policymakers will correspondingly need to be aware of the possibility that Sau di Arabia may overestimate Iranian involvement in any regional crisis and at times conflate Shi’ite assertiveness with Iranian activism on the basis of their own form of worst-case analysis and very little evidence. 119 Last printed 9/4/2009 7:00:00 PM Oil DDW 2012 1 AT: Domestic Consumption Turn 120 Oil DDW 2012 1 Saudi social and industrial policies prevent oil price increases Lahn, Research Fellow for Energy and Development at Chatham House and Stevens, Senior Research Fellow for Energy at Chatham House and Emeritus Professor at Dundee University, 11 Glada Lahn, Research Fellow for Energy and Development at Chatham House and Paul Stevens, Senior Research Fellow for Energy at Chatham House and Emeritus Professor at Dundee University, 12-11, [“Burning Oil to Keep Cool The Hidden Energy Crisis in Saudi Arabia,” The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, www.chathamhouse.org/publications/papers/view/180825] E. Liu However, several factors make raising the price of energy a daunting task for the Saudi government – not least the role of cheap energy in Saudi Arabia’s social contract and in its industrial development policy. Powerful groups within the country as well as the poor currently benefit from the status quo, so opposition to price rises would be strong. The report discusses this and the associated challenges. It then suggests possible ways forward with reference to several international examples. Experience in other countries shows that to achieve their goals, the authorities would have to prepare Saudi society for price rises. Public education campaigns and mechanisms to offset the higher costs for the most affected consumers need to be well thought out and planned for the long term. This will involve the...
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