Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, in an interview with The New York Times spoke about the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, as the “new Hitler” of the Middle East. The daring statement was made by 32-year-old Prince Mohammad bin Salman, while his elderly father-monarch Salman ibn Abdul-Aziz al-Saud, is considered the actual ruler of Saudi Arabia.
Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who is part-time Minister of Defense of the Kingdom, pointed to the need to jointly restrain the “expansion of Iran” under the rule of Ayatollah Khamenei in the region. “From the European experience, we know that pacification (the aggressor) does not work. We do not want a new Hitler in Iran, so that in the Middle East, what happened in Europe happened again, “said Prince Mohammad bin Salman
At the same time, the interlocutor of the NYT praised US President Donald Trump as the “right person at the right time” who supports Saudi Arabia’s position on Iran.
Part of the interview was devoted to the ongoing events in the Kingdom itself, whose authorities earlier this month announced a ruthless fight against corruption. The heir named the arrests and detentions of dozens of princes, acting and former ministers, businessmen, who had been forced to take measures in the largest Arab monarchy.
Earlier in the pages of Western publications, including NYT, the facts of the most harsh treatment of “corrupt” people in Saudi Arabia, up to their tortures, suggest that far from being an anti-corruption component in the actions of the current leadership of the Kingdom. According to many observers, the rapid upsurge of 32-year-old Mohammad bin Salman, son of King Salman came to many Saudi princes from other clans (King Salman and Prince Mohammed belong to the clan of Sudeyry), to put it mildly, not to their liking. Thus, among the detainees and subsequently severely beaten, the name of the son of the previous King Abdullah Prince Miteb (the clan of Shammar) is mentioned .
As the NYT wrote, some of the disloyal princes and other influential figures in the country were held under arrest and beaten at the fashionable Ritz Carlton Hotel in Riyadh. According to the American edition, some “corrupt officials” in exchange for freedom were asked to abandon the lion’s share of their fortunes. In some cases, the size of the paid-up reached up to 70% of the personal well-being of the detainees.
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An internal anticorruption campaign with an undisguised bias toward reporting accounts with unwanted representatives of the monarch’s family proceeds against the backdrop of Riyadh’s influx of anti-Iranian hysteria. These two processes are largely interrelated. In any case, Mohammad bin Salman is very interested in their synchronization personally, who made a bid for close cooperation with the United States and Israel.
King Salman blessed his son for the elimination of any threat to his future rule. In turn, Prince Mohammad bin Salman commensurates many of the actions on the external front, including the establishment of “extinguishing” internal resistance. The beginning of an irreconcilable fight against corruption in the Kingdom was announced the same day when a Vulcan-2 missile, fired from Yemen by local insurgents and husits, was shot down over the Saudi capital . Riyadh immediately blamed Tehran for missile strikes, attributed to supplies to Yemeni rebels of ballistic carriers. The same Prince Muhammad responded by pointing out the presence of all signs of an “act of war” in the actions of Iran.
On November 4, the hussites struck the Saudi capital. A few hours later, the work of the Anti-Corruption Committee was announced here. Of course, it could not be led by anyone else, as soon as the heir who was rushing to the throne. The Committee is empowered to conduct its own investigations, arrests, impose a travel ban, freeze bank assets and carry out other actions in the fight against corruption schemes and their participants. The right to beat princes, ministers and businessmen in the regulations of the newly created body, of course, is not prescribed. But, as you can understand, it is formed not least in the last place for the information of direct accounts with disloyal fractions and their leaders.
And Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s unprecedented impertinence, even by the standards of an astonishing confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, who called the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran “the New Hitler”, disturbs and brings to mind simultaneously. There are all the signs of the decision taken in Riyadh to go in opposition to Tehran to the end, which implies resorting at some stage and to military means of deploying such a confrontation.
It’s a challenge, not otherwise. And with a clear statement on the involvement of the US and Israel in an even more pronounced confrontation with Iran. The sounding of comparisons with Hitler makes the approach of a great war in the Middle East almost irreversible. Iran, of course, will respond to this challenge. Let’s see if this will also manage with a diplomatic counterattack only, or Tehran will consider that it’s time to put the Saudis in place not only with a harsh statement.