Saudi Arabian officials say they feel "insulted" by a British parliamentary inquiry into the UK's relationship with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, in the wake of concerns about Saudi and Bahraini human rights abuses since the Arab spring uprisings of last year.
In thickly loaded diplomatic language, the Saudis have said they are "re-evaluating their country's historic relations with Britain," and say that "all options will be looked at."
The inference behind this could not be clearer: keep poking your nose into how we run things, publicly criticise us in any way, and your business interests will suffer.
That message, which comes just after a UK parliament committee announced a review into Britain's relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, should come as little surprise. It reflects the arrangement between western powers and the Gulf kingdom for decades: stay out of our internal politics, ignore our human rights outrages, and together we'll make lots of money.
Trade between the UK and Saudi Arabia is currently valued at £11bn – and lucrative arms deals account for a large chunk of that (the £7bn BAE Systems contract for Typhoon jets, for example). British companies with a strong presence in Saudi Arabia include Shell, GlaxoSmithKline, BAE Systems, Rolls Royce and Marks & Spencer.
Still, the hypocrisy's worth pointing out yet again. Saudi Arabia and Bahrain brutally suppress democratic protests in their own countries, and accuse Iran of "interference". At the same time, Saudi Arabia heavily supports Syrian rebels trying to overthrow Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
British and US criticism of the Gulf monarchy to date has been shamefully muted; UK officials today have been at pains to stress that "Saudi Arabia is a key strategic partner in the region and one of the closest friends and allies". While it's a good sign that parliament is re-evaluating this relationship, it comes late in the day and, on current evidence, the outcome is likely to be tame.
Learn more: This graphic explains how Bahrain, backed by its giant neighbour Saudi Arabia, is getting away with murder.
Sources: BBC, Parliament, Avaaz