Saudi Arabia's Murky Relationship With The West Explained By Scenes Of Reason

The controversial relationship between the West and Saudi Arabia has been under increased scrutiny in recent months, with many pointing the finger at the Gulf state for financing Islamic extremism.

German vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel is the latest politician to publicly accuse Saudi Arabia of financing the form of extremism, warning that it must stop in the wake of western intervention in Syria.

But finger-pointing hasn't always been the case and one video has explained the backstory of the oil and arms trade between the nations and the tensions that have arisen along the way.

With the "largest oil reserves in the world" Saudi Arabia has "extremely close relationships with a number of western governments, including the US and the UK, and in addition to its oil, it's also the largest importer of arms in the world," says Erin O'Halloran, a researcher in Middle Eastern History.

Taking us back to the 1970's, O'Halloran tells us how both the US and Saudi has previously broke out of that "close relationship", after the middle eastern country perceived the US as having "too much western support for Israel".

Saudi Arabia issued an oil embargo upon the US in 1973, leaving President Richard Nixon to deal with the "most acute shortages of energy since World War II".

But the "allies" regained that relationship of power.

During the latter stages of the Cold War both states fought alongside each other, they also battled against Saddam Hussein in Iraq, who was perceived as a threat to the eastern country.

Since then Saudi Arabia has been working with western powers to combat violent Islamist extremists, providing resources and intelligence to one another.

However, the video takes aim at this relationship, showing clips of a news report which describes the allied nature between western countries and Saudi as "awkward" and considers the latter to have had some role to play in "the birth of Jihadism."

It also refers to the relationship between the UK and Saudi Arabia, showing a moment from earlier this year when Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow went head to head with Prime Minister David Cameron on the issue.

Snow said: "Are we sure Prime Minster that they are not actually some elements of them [Saudi Arabia], within the clerics and elsewhere, the Wahhabi radicals, involved actually in fuelling the very people we are trying defeat in Isis and the rest?"

To which Cameron retorted: "I will answer that very directly because I think you are asking a very important question. But, the reason we have the relationship is our own national security. I can think of one occasion since I’ve been prime minister where a bomb that would have potentially blown up over Britain was stopped because of intelligence we got from Saudi Arabia."

Elsewhere politicians have also been harvesting the blame on the somewhat strained relationship between the western powers and the Saudi regime.

During the battle between military action and peace in Syria, former leader of the Green party, Carolina Lucas, said: "When it comes to Saudi there are all sorts of financial measures that we could impose that we've been happy to sanction Russia for over Ukraine - yet we're not taking those against Saudi Arabia.

"At the moment we know that Saudi isn't clamping down on the families and others that are still channelling finance towards Isis."

As the video ends, it highlights that the future relationship between the countries is unknown.