Emboldened by perceived White House support, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman appears to have stepped up his risky, so far faltering effort to counter Iranian influence in the Middle East.
Arab foreign ministers gathered in Cairo on Sunday the November 19 on Saudi Arabia's request for an extraordinary meeting to discuss alleged "violations" committed by Iran in the region. The Arab League meeting comes as tensions have been rising between long-standing rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran over League member Lebanon and other issues.
From the Iranian perspective, Arab Spring and movements for Islamic resurgence in the Arab world were inspired by Islamic Revolution (1979) in Iran. It was perceiving that the Western opposition had played its role to these movements in the target region.
Transition is the name of the game in the Middle East and North Africa. The question is transition to what?
Saudi Arabia, the birthplace as well as spiritual home of Islam, has been in news in recent years as it makes strenuous efforts to enhance its global profile as a leader of (Sunni) Islamic world. It managed the Arab Spring so well that though the phenomenon had struck entire Arab world, starting from Tunisia, just passed by that nation without making any real impact on the Saudi life and politics.
Saudi King Salman plans to relinquish power next week in favor of his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who earned a special niche in international area with his anti-corruption move, targeting princes, royal families and top officials with links with royal corridors of power.
Nearly six months into the Gulf crisis, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are attempting to mobilize tribal opposition as well as little known members of one branch of Qatar's ruling Al Thani family in a bid to weaken, if not topple, Qatari emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
It's hard to prove beyond doubt a direct causal link between militancy and Saudi-inspired ultra-conservative forms of Sunni Muslim Islam. That hasn't stopped Belgium's parliament from attempting to wrest control from Saudi Arabia of Brussel's downtown Grand Mosque after three years in which Belgians played a prominent role in Islamic State attacks in the Belgian capital as well as Paris.