Issue Brief on “Appointment of New Saudi Crown Prince: Implications for Iran and Pakistan”

So the Kingdom shall have a new crown prince. Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the 51 year old nephew of King Salman has been replaced by King’s heir, Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Commonly known in the West as MBS or ‘Mr. Everything’ Prince Mohammed already holds important offices such as defense and oil ministry at the young age of just 31. Apart from putting to rest all doubts about the future vision for the Kingdom, what does his anointment mean for the regional countries like Iran in particular? Well it is quite evident from his strong rhetoric that this development shall not bode well for Saudi-Iran ties. The region will further be drawn into a long-stretching strategic and ideological rivalry, which is reflective of the looming prospects of the much-feared physical confrontation between the two. While MBS’s modern outlook is a refreshing change for the Saudi youth at home, his impulsive age is also capable of undertaking risky endeavors such as the campaign to attack Yemen. He spearheaded the attack against the Houthi rebels in Yemen and it has failed to bring about the desired results. All Saudi fingers naturally point at Iran as being the major benefactor of the Houthi rebels, who have successfully propped up a solid defense against the Kingdom’s overtures. All these unfortunate developments pave the way for massive deterioration in Saudi-Iran relations.

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