Baku, Azerbaijan, June 21
By Rufiz Hafizoglu – Trend:
The struggle for the throne between princes of Saudi Arabia was expected to end sooner or later. This morning it became known that Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has appointed his son, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, as the crown prince, replacing his nephew, Mohammed bin Nayef.
The competition and struggle for the throne between Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz and Mohammed bin Nayef began in 2015.
Mohammed bin Nayef has been the crown prince of Saudi Arabia since April 29, 2015, and holds the positions of deputy prime minister, interior minister, as well as the chairman of the Saudi Council of Political and Security Affairs. Meanwhile, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz is the minister of defense and deputy prime minister of the Kingdom.
There is no doubt that the new Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, who is considered “the most dangerous man” in the Middle East, will initiate radical changes in the region. The new crown prince is considered as the economic reformer of Saudi Arabia. He is also the author of the war in Yemen and the initiator of the Qatar crisis.
The influence of Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz has greatly increased in Saudi Arabia in recent years, and he has been able to strengthen his power. It is known that Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz controls not only the army, but also the budgets of many sectors of the economy.
Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, who, according to the Arab media outlets, considers himself as Alexander the Great, is an ardent opponent of Iran. Even in May 2017, during an interview with an Arab TV channel, the new crown prince said, “We will not wait until the battle is in Saudi Arabia, but we will work so the battle is there in Iran, and not in Saudi Arabia.” And in an interview with The Washington Post, the new crown prince said Saudi Arabia is ready to confirm its words with actions, to prove to Russia that it will be able to control the situation in the region better than Iran.
As for the new US president, Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz believes Donald Trump is “a president who will bring America back to the right track” after Barack Obama, whom Saudi officials didn’t trust.
It is not known yet when the new, young prince will become the king of Saudi Arabia, however, it is not ruled out that current Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, 82, can leave power at any moment. In principle, the Arab media outlets are already writing that such a scenario is very relevant. It is not ruled out that the new crown prince and future king of Saudi Arabia will become the beginning of radical changes in the Middle East.
Radical changes are expected to begin firstly from the aggravation of situation in Yemen, Iraq and Syria – countries that can be considered as a battlefield of Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Moreover, it is possible that Saudi Arabia will support a referendum on the status of the Kurdish autonomy in order to weaken the Iraqi government, which is under Iranian influence. It cannot be ruled out that Saudi Arabia will support the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which don’t conceal that they won’t leave the territories liberated by them from the “Islamic State” (IS) terrorists. Accordingly, this could lead to the joining of these Syrian territories to the “Kurdish state” in the future.
Meanwhile, the new crown prince is expected to support the policy of ousting Turkey from the Middle East politics.
Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu