End of the Empire is a twice-monthly feature on all news relating to the transition from the unipolar world of the US Empire to a multipolar world.
For more than 30 years, the United States has enjoyed the favor of the cartel that is OPEC, happy to benefit from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia mandating oil sales in dollars, and using various illegal policing actions to try and muscle out their regional competitor Iran.
However, as Saudi Arabia prepares to cut 1 million barrels of oil production per day through July and possibly into September, officials at Saudi Aramco have assured 5 East Asian refineries that they will not receive any reduction in their monthly deliveries, while saying nothing about the United States market.
A Bloomberg opinion article says they have cut production to squeeze the US economy before, and the signs suggest they are preparing to do it again.
The Kingdom also recently signaled that it would be open to the prospect of a joint Gulf security organization headed by Iran and Saudi together, against American assertions that such an organization “defied reason”.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan met with his counterpart in Iran on June 17th, just days after the Iranian Navy’s Rear Admiral Shahram Irani made an announcement in a televised program that his nation would join with the Gulf states, Pakistan, and India to create a new maritime security organization for the great oil artery of the world.
“I would like to point out the importance of cooperation between our two countries concerning the regional security, especially the security of maritime navigation and waterways,” Prince Faisal said at a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.
WaL reported in early June’s End of the Empire that by the time of Admiral Irani’s announcement, the UAE had already suspended its participation in the US-led Combined Maritime Forces treaty that presumes to police the Persian Gulf.
Tehran goes to Shanghai
Tehran is set to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on Tuesday, a bloc that encompasses more than half of the world’s population, as well as Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and the 5 Central Asian republics.
Iran’s conservative president Ebrahim Raisi said the entry would “provide a platform for collective security, lead to sustainable development, expand links and communications, strengthen unity, respect the sovereignty of countries more than ever before, and provide synergies to deal with environmental threats”.
Since the end of the Iran-Iraq War, Tehran has struggled to emerge fully into the world economy because of Washington’s crippling sanctions, and D.C.’s control over the diplomatic levers of Europe.
Joining the SCO (one wonders why it took them so long) will be seen as a way to ameliorate that. The SCO focuses on free trade between the member states, co-investment in hydrocarbon energy development, an inter-bank consortium to facilitate cross-border payments, banking, and investment, and dozens of other minor economic issues.
Much like BRICS, another economic/security partnership that some of these countries are a part of, some have suggested that the SCO should begin issuing its own member-state currency. However it’s more likely that the most valuable currencies of the bloc will simply become the SCO currency, like recently when Russia sold oil to India and accepted Chinese RMB as payment—a sort of transaction that used to take place entirely in US dollars. WaL
PICTURED ABOVE: PM attends the 22nd Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on September 16, 2022. PC: Government of India GOPL license.