David Ignatius: Saudi crown prince is young leader in a hurry

26 March, 2018, 01:03 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • Smiles mask problems as Saudi prince visits White House

Kushner has built a relationship with the crown prince and is said to be playing an important role in his visit to the United States this week.

And he is behind a major anti-corruption drive targeting the Saudi elite, which critics say also removes domestic rivals. Saudi Arabia was accused of attempting to bring down Lebanon's government, which is strongly influenced by Iranian proxy Hezbollah.

The crown prince could dangle a huge carrot in front of Trump for his support.

Iran signed an agreement with the USA and five other powers in 2015, freezing all enrichment activities for 10 years - an agreement that Trump, and, as of this week the Crown Prince, called "flawed".

In a remarkable development, US President Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman have discussed defence deals, security cooperation and investment in US, while a group of senators attempted to force a vote on a bill to curb American support to Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen.

Tasnim News then wrote, "Decrying the Saudi crown prince's "brazen attempt" in the US trip to seize the throne, Qassemi said bin Salman had better find a way to erase the dark record of Saudi supports for terrorism instead of spending hundreds of billions of dollars of the Saudi nation's assets on American arms". "Iran has not been treating that part of the world, or the world itself, appropriately". He said a 10-year window for implementing the deal was already under way.

"Well, we're going to see what happens".

Trump has suggested he may break the agreement in May, prompting critics to say that any such move would spark a nuclear arms race in the region between the Saudis and the Iranians, who have threatened to disown the 2015 accord if the United States walks away. Some tremendous things have happened for you since your last visit to the White House, when you were - when you were the Crown Prince, and now you're beyond the Crown Prince.




Even at this nadir of US-Saudi relations, President Obama still sanctioned an unprecedented $115bn worth of weapons to the kingdom over his eight years in office.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you.

Trump said the USA has "zero tolerance" for funding of terrorism.

In May a year ago, US President Donald Trump, in his first visit overseas, travelled to Saudi Arabia where Riyadh organised a Muslim states Summit attended by over fifty heads of States.

But he's also asserted power in the Middle East in an altogether new way for a Saudi monarch, detaining some of his country's richest and most powerful men in a stunning anti-corruption campaign that netted over $100 billion.

Trump urged Prince Mohammed to settle the festering battle that pits Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates against Qatar.

"On the political level, the American president is trying to sell the crown prince to the American public, when Saudi Arabia's image is really bad", a senior political analyst said.

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