UAE and Saudi princes decline to speak with Biden, reportedly out of anger over Iran deal and weak U.S. response to Houthi terror.
By World Israel News Staff
The leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates ignored calls from President Joe Biden in recent days, apparently due to their frustration over the Iran nuclear deal and a perceived lack of U.S. response to Houthi terrorist attacks originating in southern Yemen, the Wall Street Journal reported.
As the U.S. announced that it was banning the import of Russian-produced oil and levying harsh sanctions against the country due to its invasion of Ukraine, Biden had hoped that the Gulf Kingdoms would ramp up production to offset a potential oil crisis and skyrocketing costs.
U.S. gas prices have already hit an all-time average high of $4.17, with the cost even higher in specific states.
But Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman declined to provide Biden with reassurance that his country would comply.
“There was some expectation of a phone call, but it didn’t happen,” a senior U.S. official told WSJ. “It was part of turning on the spigot [of Saudi oil].”
The source added that UAE leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed also ignored a call from Biden.
According to the report, the UAE and Saudi Arabia have said they will not pump overtime to fill the market gap from a lack of Russian oil and will refuse to produce a previously-agreed-upon amount set by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
The Journal attributed the two leaders’ reticence to engage with Biden as stemming from anger over what they perceive as a weak attitude towards Iran and the American refusal to classify the Iran-backed Houthi rebels as a terrorist group.
In January 2022, the Houthis launched a drone and missile attack on the Abu Dhabi airport, which killed three civilians. Multiple news outlets in the Gulf slammed Biden for his feeble response to the deadly attack.
There is also believed to be lingering bad blood between bin Salman and Biden.
During the run-up to the November 2020 election, Biden took a hard stance on human rights, pledging that he would treat Saudi Arabia as a “pariah state.”
There was “very little social redeeming value in the present government in Saudi Arabia,” he said.