JD: President Putin of Russia makes a visit and he goes into Saudi Arabia. They had a lot to discuss I’m sure but this does showcase Putin’s influence in the Middle East does it not?
KT: Well it does and Putin is very happy to do that. He wants to present himself as the king maker knowing full well the United States remains the king maker in the region. Remember the Saudi’s when they feel threatened or when they feel that the United States is backing off in their support for them will turn to other powers for help. In 1986 when they saw the Reagan administration-helping Iran through what became known as Iran Contra the Saudis turned to communist China to buy strategic missiles that could be equipped with nuclear warheads.