Energy is essential to the way we live. Whether it is in the form of oil, gasoline or electricity, the worlds' prosperity and welfare depends on having access to reliable and secure supplies of energy at affordable prices. Improving how we acquire, produce, and consume energy is central to becoming economically and environmentally responsible and sustainable.
The price of oil: Saudi Arabia, the “Shi’a Crescent and Daesh (IS)
As Security Analyst Professor Paul Rogers points out, the the Middle Eastern insurgency, or as he terms it, 'Revolts from the Margins' is morphing is ways that may have an exacerbating and self-perpetrating influence throughout the region, further destabilizing oil supplies from Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has major concerns over the increasing influence of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Middle East, seeing a “Shi’a Crescent” in process of development from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean. This stretches from Hezbollah with its substantial influence in Lebanon, to the Alawi-dominated regime in Syria, through to the Shi’a-majority government in Baghdad and its suppression of the Sunni minority, and on to Iran itself. There is a further fear of Shi’a influence in the Saudi Kingdom itself where the Shi’a minority – about 15% of the population of 21 million (excluding nearly 10 million expatriates) – is located mainly in the oil-rich Eastern Province. That minority has suffered considerable suppression and control, especially since the beginning of the Arab Awakening five years ago and remains bitter in its exclusion. Furthermore, Saudi security forces have done much to support the Sunni royal family in Bahrain where the Shi’a majority (some 70% of the island’s citizens) has been suppressed.
Saudi fears of Iran stem partly from the Sunni/Shi’a divide but more significantly from its view of Iran, with a population of 80 million compared with 21 million Saudis, as a state that sees itself as the regional leader. By contrast, successive Saudi kings have regarded their role as the Keeper of the Two Holy Places as giving them the true leadership of the Islamic world. More