Saturday, January 09, 2016
Do you think having a greater proportion of women in the workforce would be good for Saudi Arabia?No doubt. A large portion of my productive factors are unutilised. And I have population growth reaching very scary figures.
Saudi Arabia is exhibiting the psychology of a state that risks losing its dominant position and whose losing hand is growing weaker and weaker. This explains why an otherwise rational actor begins making seemingly panicky and incomprehensible moves.From its decision to give up a seat on the United Nations Security Council — after having campaigned for it for over a year and celebrated its election to the UN body only a day earlier — to its reckless and failing attack on Yemen, to its push against the nuclear deal with Iran, to the deliberate provocation of executing Shia political dissident Nimr al-Nimr, its conduct is that of a sun-setting power.
In fact, the EU’s support for reengagement with Iran is partly driven by its assessment that the West’s current relationship with Saudi Arabia isn’t sustainable. As the New York Times has reported, in the current standoff between Saudi Arabia and Iran, EU sympathies tend to lean toward Tehran.To make matters worse for the Saudis, the Chinese have shifted their position in the Persian Gulf to reduce their dependency on Saudi Arabia and strengthen their ties with Iran.“China wants stability in the Persian Gulf,” an analyst close the Chinese government recently told me, “and it sees Iran as the most stable country in the region, while it is very worried about Saudi conduct.”