The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a big desert nation smack-dab in the center of the Middle East. It is a monarchy ruled by thee House of Saud, which is propped up by the United States government in exchange for gargantuan quantities of oil. Saudi Arabia, dominated by Wahhabi Islam, is one of the most repressive absolute monarchies in the world.
Saudi Arabia is unique among OPEC member nations, in that they are permitted to adjust their oil output on a short term basis in order to tweak the market price. The rest of OPEC are constrained to the production levels agreed upon at periodic cartel meetings.
Saudi Arabia's state religion is Sunni Islam and as such, no other religion is tolerated. Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah says that he respects the right of other religions to worship in private, but this right is not respected in practice. Recently, Mr Abdullah has said that all religions of the world must unite to fight atheism.
 Human rights
Saudi Arabia's is generally ranked, alongside North Korea, as one of the most repressive nations on Earth. Women and non-Sunnis are regarded as second class citizens. Women are thought to be the property of their husbands, and so much as driving a car can earn a woman ten lashes of a whip. Homosexuality is punishable by death. Saudi Arabia has played a large role in repressing the Arab Spring, with their violence towards Bahrains Shi'a receiving particular coverage.
Following in its long standing tradition of international hypocrisy, Saudi Arabia's deplorable human rights record has not stopped them from condemning the atrocities of the Syrian counterrevolution, and calling for Bashar al-Assad to step down.
 Human trafficking
Human trafficking is a big problem in Saudi Arabia, where thousands of children, men and women live as slaves. Foreign workers, especially women, are often subjected to sexual abuse and rape. A Saudi who kept an Indonesian woman as slave and used to rape her was allowed to go free from the United States. There have been reports of European and American women kidnapped to be kept as sex slaves in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has the largest known reserves of oil, and the greatest capacity for extracting it. In fact, Saudi Arabia has so heavily invested in excess capacity that it can, very quickly, increase production by about 2 million barrels per day, or about the output of most other major oil exporting countries. Saudi Arabia has invested in this capability because it gives them a great deal of power over the world's oil market. If another member of OPEC were to go offline, the Saudis could easily make up for it. If the other members of OPEC were to cheat on their quotas, the Saudis could flood them out (and thus cause prices to crash).
This has caused many to worry about their geopolitical power, but so far the few times the Saudis have tried to use the "oil weapon" it failed miserably.
 Alternate names
- al-Mamlaka al-ʻArabiyya as-Suʻūdiyya
- Saudi Arabia
- The KSA
- Arabistan (informally)
- Sandy Arabia (by Genghis Khans' grandmother)