The Iranian and Venezuelan ministers called for more radical measures and a specific mention of the effect of the dollar to be added to the draft declaration: specifically to change the OPEC currency from the dollar to the euro. This is very significant because petroleum based on the dollar has been the “flywheel” of our economy, keeping it steadily moving through the world economy’s ups and downs.
But Saud Al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign affairs minister, warned the meeting: “The mere mention that OPEC is studying the issue of the dollar is going to have an impact.” He said a reference to the US currency in the declaration could cause the dollar to “collapse”.
Now turn the clock backwards to 2001. After 9/11 and the collapse of the US economy, Iraq, Iran, and Venezuela ministers wanted to change the OPEC’s currency from the dollar to the euro. An intelligence report came to the US administration that the Saudi minister was leaning towards the idea.
The Bush administration could not resort to a move that could damage their relationship with their strongest ally in the region; but they could send a clear message.
The main rationale for the Iraq Invasion and Occupation offered by U.S. President George W. Bush, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of Spain José María Aznar and their domestic and foreign supporters, was the allegation that Iraq possessed and was actively developing weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Leaders and diplomats from countries on the U.N. Security Council that opposed the war made statements that contested this view. These weapons, it was argued, posed a threat to the United States, its allies and interests. In the 2003 State of the Union Address, Bush claimed that the U.S. could not wait until the threat from Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein became imminent. In January 2005, the Iraq Survey Group concluded that Iraq had ended its WMD programs in 1991 and had no WMD at the time of the invasion; although some misplaced or abandoned remnants of pre-1991 production were found, US Government spokespeople confirmed that these were not the weapons for which the US "went to war". The weapons for which the US and coalition partners invaded have not been found. Some U.S. officials cited claims of a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. No evidence of any operational or collaborative relationship with al-Qaeda has been found.
But all this was fine with President Bush. The USA had delivered Saudi Arabia a clear Picture of what could happen in they abandoned the US Dollar for the Euro currency. Even Iran, who in 11 years could not destroy the Iraqi army, was suddenly mum on the dollar issue.
We have not learned from the Iraq experience: invading a country does not protect your currency. Fast forward to 2007 and now there’s talk of invading Iran. You will hear threats of nuclear proliferation being mentioned by the current administration. But in the end, it was always about money. Iran would be the easiest target to again influence “our friends” the Saudi's to “stay the course.”