AL-RASHEED: There are interest groups who want us to believe that this is a holy alliance, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. And obviously here we’re talking about military weapons companies, we’re talking about oil companies, we’re talking about those who benefit from this political umbrella that is provided by Washington to Saudi Arabia and do not want to undermine this relationship, in order to keep its business and economic and financial, military relations going.
... I think initially, when this so-called special relationship started in 1945, Saudi Arabia needed the U.S. more than the U.S. actually needed Saudi Arabia, until oil became abundant and the Saudi sort of government started having that surplus, which it recycled, and used it to buy weapons from Western governments.
But at the same time, the Saudis realized recently that they have this purchasing power, and immediately after any kind of rift between Washington and Riyadh, the Saudis tried to arrange visits to other Western countries, or to Asia recently, and also offered to buy military equipment.
(...) So it’s an ongoing sort of source of income for these companies. And therefore it is using this purchasing power in order to put pressure on other governments, especially Western one, to remain silent on its own abuse of human rights, on its own undemocratic system, and also on its intrigues, whether they are direct or indirect in the Arab world and beyond.