News from the Arab Press

The Saudi-Iranian Conflict

By Asaf Zilberfarb | The Media Line

November 14, 2017

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Al-Watan, Qatar, November 8

The man of the hour in Saudi Arabia is indisputably Mohammed bin Salman, who is not only the Crown Prince but also the kingdom’s defense minister. While he received the former title just five months ago when his father, King Salman, removed from power the previous heir to the throne, the prince assumed his role as minister almost two years ago. Still, bin Salman lacks experience and remains an amateur statesman lacking in the capacity to plan successful military operations. Since his very first days in office, the future king pursued an aggressive foreign policy that diverged greatly from that of his predecessors. He began his term by launching an attack against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, a campaign that was designed to last only a few weeks but is nowhere close to ending. Bin Salman is also the architect of the recent Gulf embargo on Qatar. Whereby he initially maintained close ties with Doha, with the aim of coordinating activities against Iran, after receiving new orders from Washington the young defense minister reversed his policy and began speaking out against Qatar. He accused Doha of collaborating with radical forces in the region and called on Gulf countries to boycott the country. Now, in his most recent display of incompetence, Mohammed bin Salman appears to have been involved in the Lebanese prime minister’s decision to step down from office, a move that did nothing but spread confusion in the region. The people of the Middle East are thus awaiting his next move. No one knows with certainty what such action may entail, but one thing is for sure: it will be closely coordinated with Israel and the United States. Accordingly, a novice minister in Riyadh is coordinating with another novice president in the White House. In between them is a racist Israeli leader. Nothing good can come from this. – Jelbir al-Ashkar

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