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Saudi Arabia has ‘no intention’ of 1973 oil embargo replay: TASS

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Saudi Arabia has no intention of unleashing a 1973-style oil embargo on Western consumers and will isolate oil from politics, the Saudi energy minister said on Monday amid a worsening crisis over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

  “There is no intention,” Khalid al-Falih told Russia’s TASS news agency when asked whether there could be a repeat of the oil embargo.

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    Top U.S. lawmakers turned their ire on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday and said they believed he ordered the killing of Khashoggi, although the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump maintained a more cautious stance.

Several U.S. lawmakers have suggested imposing sanctions on Saudi Arabia in recent days while the kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter, has pledged to retaliate against any sanctions with “bigger measures”.

“This incident will pass. But Saudi Arabia is a very responsible country, for decades we used our oil policy as a responsible economic tool and isolated it from politics,” Falih said.

“My role as the energy minister is to implement my government’s constructive and responsible role and stabilizing the world’s energy markets accordingly, contributing to global economic development,” Falih said.

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He said that if oil prices went up, it would slow the global economy and trigger a recession.

In a column published last week, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya channel’s General Manager Turki Aldakhil warned that imposing sanctions on Riyadh could spark global economic disaster as oil could jump to $200 per barrel.

The 1973 oil crisis began when Arab producers led by Saudi Arabia slapped an oil embargo on Western supporters of Israel in its war with Egypt, targeting Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Britain and the United States.

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Oil prices spiked on the move, as they did later in 1979 because of the Iranian revolution.

The efficiency of the embargo was far from obvious as higher prices led to the development of new oil provinces outside the Middle East and encouraged alternative energy. Riyadh has refrained from using oil as a direct weapon since then.

“If oil prices will go too high, it will slow down the world economy and would trigger a global recession. And Saudi Arabia has been consistent in its policy. We work to stabilize global markets and facilitate global economic growth. That policy has been consistent for many years,” Falih said.

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NO GUARANTEE
Falih said that with sanctions on Iran coming into full force next month, there was no guarantee oil prices would refrain from going higher.

“I cannot give you a guarantee, because I cannot predict what will happen to other suppliers,” Falih said, when asked whether the world can avoid oil hitting $100 per barrel again.

“We have sanctions on Iran, and nobody has a clue what Iranians’ exports will be. Secondly, there are potential declines in different countries like Libya, Nigeria, Mexico and Venezuela,” he said.

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“If 3 million barrels per day disappears, we cannot cover this volume. So we have to use oil reserves,” he said.

Falih said Saudi Arabia would soon raise output to 11 million barrels per day (bpd) from the current 10.7 million. He added that Riyadh had capacity to increase output to 12 million bpd and its Gulf OPEC ally, the United Arab Emirates, could add another 0.2 million bpd.

“We have relatively limited spare capacities and we are using a significant part of them,” he said.

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Global supply next year could be helped by Brazil, Kazakhstan and the United States, he added.

“But if you have other countries to decline in addition to the full application of Iran sanctions, then we will be pulling all spare capacities,” Falih said.

Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov and Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Dale Hudson and Richard Pullin

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Robert Reich reveals he bets against Larry Kudlow predictions: ‘I’ve actually made quite a bit of money’

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Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich revealed on MSNBC that he bets against the predictions made by Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump's director of the National Economic Council.

Anchor Chris Hayes interviewed Reich about the growing concern that President Donald Trump's trade wars are risking plunging the nation into a recession.

"As somebody who has been through a number of business cycles, has watched this administration and watched the sort of last administration working through recovering from Great Recession, where do you see us right now?" Hayes asked.

"Well, the fundamentals are actually, Chris, a little bit fragile," Reich replied.

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On Monday, CNN's Anderson Cooper walked viewers through President Donald Trump's latest theory about Google committing voter fraud on behalf of Democrats.

"I want to play you this clip from yesterday, because of how well it shows where his head still seems to be nearly three years after election night," said Cooper. "It was in response to a question about banning high-capacity magazines. First, he quickly changed the subject to mental health, and then, well, take a look."

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MSNBC panel ridicules Mike Pence for mastering the art of the kiss-ass so he can run for president

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Vice President Mike Pence was mocked on MSNBC for his unwavering devotion to President Donald Trump.

"In Trump World where we live, unfortunately, the president demands complete loyalty. Vice President Mike Pence has been the most successful at navigating the choppy loyalty waters using effusive compliments when necessary," MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews said.

The host played multiple clips of Pence lavishing praise on Trump.

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