Bin Salman fears oppositions from royal family: Prof. Zonis

TEHRAN, Mar. 15 (MNA) – Professor international political economy believes Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman's fear of the senior royal family is the reason behind the recent detention of senior royals and top officials earlier this month.

Saudi Arabia's reported detention of senior royals and top officials earlier this month has raised a series of questions on what prompted the crackdown.

To many observers, the detentions appeared to be Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's (MBS) latest effort to consolidate power by targeting two of the royal family's most influential members, Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz, the youngest brother of King Salman, and Mohammed bin Nayef, the former crown prince and interior minister.

To shed more light on the issue we interview Marvin Zonis, Professor of international political economy and leadership at the University of Chicago.

What are the reasons behind the recent detention of some Saudi princes by crown prince Bin Salaman?

Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman clearly anticipates a transition in power from his father to himself. He fears opposition from senior figures in the royal family. How much of that fear is rational and how much reflects an impulsive and paranoid mindset is currently unknowable. But given his policy making — his insistence on continuing the Saudi war in Yemen causing such catastrophe there and the murder of Jamal Khashoggi — I suspect this is a product of his brutality and impulsiveness. 

Can such a measure pave way for him to grab the power in the country as king?

I would not call it “grab power” since he is the accepted Crown Prince. But it looks as if he has succeeded in taking all the various security services under his control and should easily become King upon his father’s death. 

What is the US and generally speaking the west's approach toward this issue?

President Trump has a special alliance across the Middle East with three leaders: President Erdogan, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the Crown Prince. He is willing to excuse almost any of their behaviors — certainly their policies within their own countries. So, not surprisingly, no criticism from him on the Crown Prince’s strike against others in the Royal family.

Interview by Payman Yazdani

News Code 156714


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