A situation worth knowing something about
[quote]NBC: Saudis waging an oil war on Iran?
Falling fuel costs probably not a coincidence, oil traders say
By Robert Windrem
Updated: 2:03 p.m. CT Jan 23, 2007
Oil traders and others believe that the Saudi decision to let the price of oil tumble has more to do with Iran than economics.
Their belief has been reinforced in recent days as the Saudi oil minister has steadfastly refused calls for a special meeting of OPEC and announced that the nation is going to increase its production, which will send the price down even farther.
Saudi Oil Minister Ibrahim al-Naimi even said during a recent trip to India that oil prices are headed in the "right direction."
Not for the Iranians.
Moreover, the traders believe the Saudis are not doing this alone, that the other Sunni-dominated oil producing countries and the U.S. are working together, believing it will hurt majority-Shiite Iran economically and create a domestic crisis for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose popularity at home is on the wane. The traders also believe (with good reason) that the U.S. is trying to tighten the screws on Iran financially at the same time the Saudis are reducing the Islamic Republicâ€™s oil revenues.
For the Saudis, who fear Iranâ€™s religious, geopolitical and nuclear aspirations, the decision to lower the price of oil has a number of benefits, the biggest being to deprive Iran of hard currency. It also may create unrest in a country that is its rival on a number of levels and permits the Saudis to show the U.S. that military action may not be necessary.
The Saudis firmly and publicly deny this, saying itâ€™s all about economics. Not everyone believes them.
â€œIf under normal circumstances, the price of oil was falling this dramatically [17% in the last few months], Saudi Arabia would have already called for a special OPEC meeting,â€