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 »