Minimal growth and a hefty deficit is expected for Saudi Arabia, and the government knows it must act quickly to reverse the downward trend or there could be serious internal issues. Experts predict the country must become less reliant on oil to achieve long-term growth.

[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”#saudiarabia #iran” related=”” layout=”” position=””]Saudi is dealing with some critical challenges[/clickandtweet], from the economy to its relationship with Iran. Not only do the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam divide them, but so does terrorism, Wahhabi teachings, and conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. In short the situation is a trigger response issue. Unfortunately these involve the U.S. as well.

Joining us to talk about the concerns with Saudi Arabia and Iran are key experts on Saudi and the GCC allies:

We’ll examine the oil situation and how the Iranian nuclear deal fits into the puzzle. Our experts talk about the situation today and how it was caused by “bad policies” implemented by colonial powers after the First World War and some as far back as the 7th century.

So tune in please.


Left to Right: Oliver “Buck” Revell, Niki McCuistion, Dennis McCuistion and Ambassador Robert W. Jordan

And an added perspective: as a National Council on US Arab Relations Malone Fellow, I (Niki) had the opportunity to travel to Saudi Arabia with Dr. John Duke Anthony, the Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. His latest article: President Obama’s Meeting with GCC Leaders in Saudi Arabia: An Opportunity for Heightened Cooperation talks about the timeliness of
“President Obama’s visit to Riyadh to meet with King Salman of Saudi Arabia.”

He says:

“It will take place at a time when aspects of U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia and GCC countries are being vilified. U.S. domestic political campaign rhetoric, legislation contemplated by the U.S. Congress, the media, and special interests are seemingly opposed to strengthening and expanding America’s strategic, economic, national security, and related interests with and in Saudi Arabia and the other GCC countries.

In addition, the visit comes on the heels of President Obama’s comments in a recent article in The Atlantic in which he was characterized as portraying various Arab and GCC allies as ‘free riders’ and thinking that Saudi Arabia needs to ‘share’ the neighborhood with Iran.

It is apparent that the United States has a coveted place ahead of many nations to participate in those among the Kingdom’s new initiatives associated with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Expected to be announced April 25, 2016, the new initiatives are being described as a ‘Vision for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.’ They are expected to include developmental, economic, and social components intended to position Saudi Arabia for the future.”

In addition to Saudi Arabia, President Obama is scheduled to meet with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

Join us, as we talk about things that matter… with people who care. And please don’t forget that for the last 25 years it is you, our viewer who keeps us on the air.

The McCuistion Program, a 501 ( C ) ( 3 ) tax exempt organization does not receive any KERA pledge dollars, PBS funds or government grants, so thank you for your continued support.

Thanks for joining us,

Niki McCuistion
Co-Founder, Executive Producer, Producer
Business Consultant / Executive Coach, specializing in Organizational Culture Change, Governance and Strategic Planning


Iran Nuclear Plant Plans a Start Date

Russia’s state atomic corporation, which is building the plant, said engineers will begin loading the Bushehr reactor with fuel.

However, it could be six months before the reactor is fully operational.

Russia has been helping build the plant since the mid-1990s, amid tensions over Iran’s nuclear programme.


Consumer Prices Rise in US, Easing Deflation Risk

The cost of living in the U.S. climbed in July for the first time in four months, pointing to a stabilization that may ease concern a slowdown in growth will spur deflation.

The consumer-price index increased 0.3 percent, the most in a year and exceeding the 0.2 percent gain projected by the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington. A gauge excluding volatile food and fuel costs, the so-called core rate, increased 0.1 percent, as projected.


Immigration Impasse: Frustration as Comprehensive Reform Legislation Stalled

The Senate passed a $600 million measure Thursday to beef up U.S. border security in a rare bipartisan effort on immigration reform. It came during an equally rare special August session, held after most lawmakers have left Washington for the summer recess.

newsLeaders Warn Iran Over Nuclear Site

President Obama and leaders of Britain and France accused Iran on Friday of building a secret underground plant to manufacture nuclear fuel, saying the country has hidden the covert operation from international weapons inspectors for years.

“The level of deception by the Iranian government, and the scale of what we believe is the breach of international commitments, will shock and anger the entire international community,” British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, standing on the other side of Mr. Obama. “The international community has no choice today but to draw a line in the sand.”

G20 leaders debate economic future

Leaders at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh have been debating the safest way to steer the world’s economies.

With many major economies beginning to climb out of recession, attention at the G20 will turn to when and how to withdraw government stimulus packages.

AIDS vaccine promising; experts urge caution

As Bay Area scientists celebrated the first promising results from the largest-ever AIDS vaccine trial, they cautioned that much more research is needed before a vaccine could be available to the public.

The news that an experimental AIDS vaccine tested on 16,000 heterosexual volunteers in Thailand had been shown to be safe and modestly effective surprised researchers, who had become used to failure in the decades-long effort to find a vaccine to protect against HIV infection.

newsHere are a few links to check out in order to keep you up-to-date on what is going on in our world.

Iran and Nuclear Weapons: “Ahmadinejad says he won’t rule out an Iran nuclear bomb”

“In a rare interview with Western media, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iran has no need for nuclear weapons, but he did not rule out the possibility that Iran might develop them in the future. The broadcasting of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s remarks coincided with a new report, based on previously undisclosed information, that the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog has withheld evidence about how close Iran is to making a nuclear bomb.”

United States and Russia on Missile Defense Systems: “NATO hits the ‘reset’ button, belatedly”

“NATO proposed a new era of cooperation with the United States and Russia on Friday, calling for joint work on missile defense systems after Washington scrapped a planned anti-missile system.”

Texas Second in Nation on Student Loan Defaults

“The slumping economy led Texas to finish second in the nation for the rate of federal student loan defaults at 9.3 percent.”

Baucus Health Care Reform Bill Drops

“After months of compromising with seemingly nobody, Senator Max Baucus has released the initial draft of the Senate Finance Committee reform bill and has done so without the support of so much as one GOP member of the committee.”

Photo Credit: Merck Group