US law may end special relationship with Saudi Arabia: Analyst
Press TV has conducted an interview with Jim W. Dean, managing editor and columnist with the Veterans Today from Atlanta, and Michael Lane, president of the American Institute for Foreign Policy from Washington, to discuss a new anti-Saudi law.
A recent decision by US Congress to override President Barack Obama’s veto of legislation that allows victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia is set to lead ties between both countries to a “rocky road,” Dean told Press TV on Thursday night.
“If the Saudi kingdom goes mad, it may leak information about the US involvement in aiding and abetting terrorism in the Balkans and the Middle East,” he said.
On Wednesday, US senators voted 97-1 in favor of the “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA),” which was vetoed by Obama last week. Only Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid,
Dean ruled out Saudi Arabia’s threat to sell billions of dollars in US assets, saying the Saudis are bluffing because “they really cannot liquidate their whole money in the United States.”
“If they start to pull out their assets from the US, the kingdom’s own economy will suffer much.”
According to Dean, the neglected issue which has not been addressed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks is that the US lost several trillion dollars and the American people also lost a lot of their freedoms as a consequence of the incident.
“The big concern is you would never ever have countries like Saudi Arabia get involved in a 9/11 type project with 15 of their own nationals involved,” he said.
“No country would be so stupid as to use their own nationals in an operation like this,” Dean added.
He also cautioned that the United States, its citizens and defense contractors, could be subject to legal cases in other countries for their wrongdoings against people overseas.
Also speaking in Press TV’s “The Debate” program, Lane said the US Congress decision has “opened up the entire world to this kind of lawsuit when terrorism is involved or alleged to be involved.”
“This has the potential for other countries around the world to retaliate against the United States and we can find ourselves and individuals in court in foreign capitals as a result of this defending ourselves against charges both accurate and perhaps not so accurate.”
He said the ratification of JASTA seems to push the United States and Saudi Arabia to the “end of the special relationship” which exists between them.
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry condemned the passage of the US law, calling it a matter of “great concern” in a statement on Thursday. Before the passage, Saudi Arabia had threatened to sell off $750 billion in American assets if it becomes law.
Of the 19 hijackers that allegedly carried out the attacks, 15 had Saudi Arabian nationality and available evidence suggests that some of them were linked to high-ranking Saudi officials.
Families of the victims spent years and explored all available channels to sue Saudi Arabia in US courts for any involvement in the assaults, which killed nearly 3,000 people. Riyadh denies any connection to the 9/11 terrorists.
Jim W. Dean Archives 2009-2014