Saudi Arabia plays a critical role in world politics. Sitting atop the largest proven oil reserves in the world, it supplies the bulk of the oil exported from the Persian Gulf, amounting to about a quarter of the world’s supply. Moreover, Saudi Arabia possesses the largest excess production capacity of any country in the world, which enables it to raise or lower production at a moment’s notice-and by enough of a margin to have a serious impact on world oil prices and, hence, the global economy. It is, therefore, a major player on the global stage, even if many indicators would rank it among the world’s developing countries.