Fast Food Chains Are Now Pledging Allegiance To New Saudi Crown Prince

Pauline Gross
June 26, 2017

The rapid rise of Mohammed bin Salman, from one among many princes in the al-Saud royal family to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia within a span of two years, is an unprecedented development in the history of the Kingdom.

The move wasn't totally unanticipated as a possibility, but has far-reaching consequences. He had, however, been reported intermittently to be in very poor health.

Although Prince Mohammed bin Salman's promotion was expected among close circles, the timing was a surprise, with the kingdom facing heightened tensions with Qatar and Iran, and locked in a war in Yemen.

Al-Jazeera, in its coverage of the shakeup, said Bin Salman had previously said on Saudi TV that it is Iran's goal to "control the Islamic world" and spread Shia doctrine.

Prince Mohammed is now defence minister, giving him command of one of the world's biggest arms budgets and making him ultimately responsible for Saudi Arabia's military adventure in Yemen.

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Saudi Arabia's King Salman made his son Mohammed bin Salman next in line to the throne on Wednesday as the Kingdom seeks to transform economy by 2030 and reduce the country's reliance on oil revenue. For an older generation, Saudi television coverage was highly orchestrated, with repeated footage of Nayef, the deposed crown prince, pledging allegiance to his successor. "Mohammed bin Nayef has strong ties with American industrialists, military and intelligence, who call him 'a hero in the fight against terrorism.' The king leans more toward the American wing of globalists and financial corporations", al Masari said.

Iran at the time called the remarks a direct threat, and after a deadly June 7 terrorist attack in Tehran Iranian officials suggested that Saudi Arabia was implicated.

The reasons for the demotions are unclear, but bin Nayef is viewed as being close to the rulers of Qatar, and Saudi Arabia is now leading a campaign to isolate and punish Qatar for its alleged support for extremists and for Riyadh's nemesis, the regime in Tehran.

Last year Mohammed bin Salman, or "MBS" as he is widely known, announced sweeping changes aimed, as he put it, at ending the kingdom's "addiction" to oil, part of his campaign to tackle systemic challenges that the kingdom has previously failed to address.

Saudi Arabia embassies overseas, governors and heads of centers also received citizens who were keen to attend and pledge loyalty. Prince Mohammed's domestic reform credentials are also yet to be established, as his plans to reorganise the oil economy remain on paper, while social reforms are nowhere near the government's agenda.

Other reports by GizPress

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