Obama meets Saudi King to discuss Iran, Syria
U.S. President Barack Obama met with Saudi King Malek Abdullah to discuss escalating violence in Syria and the plans to expand sanctions against Iran.
Reuters reports that the White House has released few details about the June 14 meeting between the two leaders. It took place after OPEC members agreed to limit the level of oil production despite the EU's fast-approaching oil embargo on Iran.
Saudi Arabia has increased its own oil production to compensate for the shrinking demand for Iranian oil, and it had said previously that it may be necessary for OPEC to raise total output later this year.
Iran and Iraq have criticized the Saudi increase in oil production and accused it of destabilizing the oil market.
The United States has worked hard to convince Iran’s international oil customers to reduce their dealings with Iran in an attempt to force the Islamic Republic to follow Western demands regarding its nuclear program.
Analysts have said that Obama may have spoken to King Abdullah about a potential collective action by member countries of the International Energy Agency to tap into oil reserves in case of a sudden jump in oil prices.
Come July 1, the EU oil embargo on Iran will take effect, including a provision that keeps European insurance companies from insuring vessels carrying Iranian crude.
Analysts say this may further reduce Iran’s ability to sell crude, which could result in another hike in oil prices.