Thanks to the actions of the impetuous Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — from the brutal war in Yemen to picking a fight with Canada to, most recently, the apparent murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi — Saudi Arabia is at risk of becoming a pariah state. The royal court in Riyadh — including King Salman bin Abdulaziz — surely realizes that this situation cannot continue.
If they are smart they will take decisive action. First, King Salman needs to remove Prince Mohammed from his post, admit responsibility for the assassination of Mr. Khashoggi, and face consequences. Later, if Saudi Arabia truly wants to become a respected member of the international community, the government should take steps toward becoming a constitutional monarchy.… Seguir leyendo »
Saudi Arabia’s government officials, and particularly its powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, often talk about pushing back a dangerous Iranian threat. But the truth is, despite this talk, the foreign policy emanating from Riyadh is driven primarily by domestic politics. Prince Mohammed knows that a fearful enemy is a key to his own strength.
The relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iran has oscillated between indifference, hostility, rapprochement and tension over the decades. Prince Mohammad appears determined to intensify the rivalry with Iran as he continues to raise Riyadh’s concerns over Iranian expansion in the Arab world and beyond.
The roots for perpetuating this conflict lie in the domestic context.… Seguir leyendo »
A new Saudi Arabia is undergoing a difficult and complicated rebirth. Two weeks before the arrest last Saturday of 11 Saudi princes, several ministers and entrepreneurs in an “anti-corruption” drive, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman organized a lavish global economic summit meeting in Riyadh to showcase his plans to diversify the Saudi economy beyond oil.
At the summit meeting, Prince Mohammed spoke of his plans to return Saudi Arabia to its original moderate Islam. So far his statements about moderate Islam seem to be a public relations exercise aimed at global investors.
Prince Mohammed also announced a $500 billion project to build a futuristic city on the Red Sea called Neom, which he said wasn’t meant to generate jobs for Saudi citizens but to serve regional interests and global capitalism.… Seguir leyendo »