The subject of major speculation over the past two weeks, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir today confirmed “warning” the US over the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which would’ve opened up the Saudi government to lawsuits in the United States over its involvement in the 9/11 attacks.
The initial reports suggested Jubeir “threatened” to see the Saudis $750 billion in US treasury assets sold immediately over such a change, a move that would badly damage the US dollar and by extension the American economy.
Jubeir, however, insists that this didn’t constitute a “threat,” insisting that the Saudis “invest as investors” and simply see the law as dramatically eroding investor confidence, which would have them pulling out of the US market.
However the move is couched, the fact that Jubeir was able to confront the US government with the possibility of collapsing the American economy, and the very next day the White House began talking up vetoing the bill, suggests that the Saudi government is effectively able to dictate American legislation, and block bills they see as contrary to their interests.
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