Newly appointed Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (referred to as MbS) is militantly hostile toward Iran.
On Wednesday, Trump congratulated him by phone, saying they share common goals – far different from regional stability, combating terrorism, and other high-minded objectives expressed in a White House readout of their conversation.
Israel welcomed the move, communications minister Ayoub Kara saying it “means more economic cooperation in the Middle East, and not just regarding oil.”
“The strengthening of relations with the Trump administration is the beginning of a new and optimistic time between Saudi Arabia and regional states, including Israel and the Jewish people.”
Aged-31 MbS is young, inexperienced, militant, aggressive, dangerous, and unapologetically hostile toward Iran.
He rules out bilateral dialogue, pledging to preserve the kingdom from what he calls Tehran’s aim to dominate the Muslim world – a bald-faced lie.
Trump met him in Riyadh during his first foreign trip, both figures stressing the importance of “confronting Iran’s destabilizing regional activities” – code language, referring to the Islamic Republic’s support for Syria in its struggle to combat US/Saudi-backed terrorism.
As defense minister, MbS bears responsibility for naked aggression on Yemen, complicit with Washington. It’s believed he orchestrated Riyadh’s breach with Qatar, risking conflict between both countries.
Without justification, he claims Tehran takes advantage of Saudi Arabia. Now it’s time to resist what doesn’t exist.
According to former Obama administration senior advisor on Middle East affairs Rob Malley, MbS’s “desire to confront or even defeat Iran has appeal in the White House, where the crown prince…forge(d) a relationship with the Kushners,” Trump’s daughter and son-in-law.
Reckless hostility toward Iran by MbS, Trump, hawks in his administration and Congress, along with Israel’s rage for eliminating its main regional rival, risks war on the Islamic Republic – potentially devastating for the region if launched.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) blamed Saudi Arabia for the June 7 terrorist incidents in Tehran, killing 17, injuring dozens more.
Last Sunday, the IRGC retaliated, striking the “headquarters and gathering centers of takfiri terrorists” near Deir Ezzor, Syria with ground-to-ground missiles, a statement said.
General Amir Ali Hajizadeh promised further “costly consequences” in response to more “evil acts.”
In a separate statement after the June 7 incidents, the IRGC vowed revenge, saying “(t)he spilling of any pure blood will not go unanswered.”
Iranian General Mohammad Ali Jafari said the IRGC has “precise intelligence showing…in addition to supporting the terrorists, (Riyadh) demanded them to conduct operations in Iran.”
The Islamic Republic’s attack on ISIS positions in Syria was a message to the Saudis of its ability to strike targets in the heart of the kingdom.
If MbS stokes conflict with Iran, America, Israel and Russia might get involved – a far more dangerous situation than current regional wars.