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Old 10-22-2011, 09:26 AM   #1
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Saudi Politics

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The heir to the Saudi throne, Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdel Aziz Al Saud, died abroad Saturday after an illness, state TV said. The death of the prince, who is in his 80s, opens questions about the succession in the critical, oil-rich U.S. ally.

Sultan was the half-brother of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, who has also been ailing and underwent back surgery last week.

The most likely candidate to replace Sultan as Abdullah's successor is Prince Nayef, the powerful interior minister in charge of internal security forces. After Sultan fell ill, the king gave Nayef — also his half-brother an implicit nod in 2009 by naming him second deputy prime minister, traditionally the post of the second in line to the throne.
...
Nayef has led an aggressive campaign against Islamic militants following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks — in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia — but he also has a reputation for close ties to the Saudi religious establishment. This could bring tensions within the Saudi leadership if Nayef is named crown prince, pitting those backing Abdullah's reform measures against those opposing any deviations to the kingdom's strict interpretations of Islam.

Nayef also maintains a hard line against regional rival, the Shiite power Iran, claiming earlier this year that Tehran was encouraging protests among Saudi Arabia's minority Shiites. Nayef was deeply involved in the kingdom's decision in March to send military forces into neighboring Bahrain to help crush pro-reform demonstrations led by tiny island nation's majority Shiites against its Sunni rulers — which Gulf Arab leaders accuse of having ties to Iran.
...
http://www.npr.org/2011/10/22/141608...medium=twitter

It would appear that the middle east is going to get a bit more dangerous when King Abdullah passes on.
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:59 AM   #2
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Is the Saudi king giving up the throne? According the the Egyptian Television network "El-Nha'r, the Saudi king will announce in the next few days that he is giving up his crown.

King Abdullah (90), has been hospitalized since December 31st with pneomonia, in the hospital in the Saudi capital city of Riyad.
...
According to the publication, In March of last year, Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz was named deputy Crown Prince and is therefore second-in-line to the throne.
...
http://www.jerusalemonline.com/news/...bdicates-10748
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Old 01-07-2015, 09:35 PM   #3
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The Sauds have long had the problem that most of the people who could be in line for the throne are slightly younger than dirt, so once the current king dies his successor wouldn't be far behind. It would be better to get a younger guy in there who could rule for decades, but I had read there isn't really anyone who the king thinks worthy.

It will be interesting to see if a new guy sticks with the current arrangements or tries to put his own stamp on the country.
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:06 AM   #4
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From what I've been reading, Prince Muqrin is around 70 years old, but the real issue is avoiding a power struggle (fight) within the ruling family (it's a big family). There is a lot of jockeying for power happening over there.
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:16 AM   #5
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So King Abdullah has died. Now we will see if they have a stable succession or a power struggle.

FWIW, when I did consulting work over there a while back, it seemed to me that King Abdullah was really trying to bring that country into the modern age culturally, but he had to do it slowly and carefully.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:12 AM   #6
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The new king is pretty radical I read. He funded Hezbolla and is a hard core wahabi.

This is about to get truly interesting.
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Old 11-06-2017, 08:35 AM   #7
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* bump *

Big moves happened in Saudi Arabia over the weekend. There was a missile attack purportedly from Iran backed Houthi rebels in Yemen at the same time the Crown Prince initiated a crackdown on dissent within the royal family.

Quote :
Saturday night’s high-profile arrests in Saudi Arabia have sent shock waves through the global political Richter scale. The arrests, including that of such well-known figures as my former boss Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, came within hours of changes in the leadership of a number of important ministries, as well as to the leadership and structure of the much-respected Saudi national guard.

Saudi royals view themselves as The Party, sharing power and ruling by consent, in an arrangement that is largely opaque. What is absolutely clear after Saturday’s “Night of the Long Knives” is that Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is upending this arrangement and centralizing all power within his position as crown prince.

This purge comes on the heels of complete intolerance for even mild criticism of Mohammed bin Salman’s reforms, resulting in at least 70 arrests that have, unfortunately, garnered far less attention. Many of us living outside Saudi Arabia will not return home for fear of the same fate. Our families have been targeted instead.
...
https://www.washingtonpost.com/ampht...ng-like-putin/

Quote :
The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen closed off the land, sea and air ports to the Arab world's poorest country early Monday after a rebel-fired ballistic missile targeted Riyadh, blaming the launch on Iran and warning it could be "considered as an act of war."

The coalition's statement ramps up tensions between the ultraconservative Sunni kingdom and its Shiite rival Iran, both of which have interests in Yemen's yearslong conflict. The bloodshed continued Sunday as an Islamic State-claimed militant attack in Aden killed at least 17 people.

In a statement, the coalition accused Iran of supplying Yemen's Houthi rebels and their allies with the missile launched Saturday toward the Saudi capital's international airport.

Iran has backed the rebels, but denies arming them. The Houthi militants have said their Volcano-variant ballistic missile is locally produced.

The Saudi-led coalition's statement said the closures would be temporary and "take into account" the work of humanitarian and aid organizations. The war has claimed more than 10,000 lives and driven the Arab world's poorest country to the brink of famine.

The Saudi-led coalition launched a wave of airstrikes — starting overnight and continuing until noon Sunday — on the rebel-held capital, Sanaa, apparently in response to the ballistic missile. Saudi Arabia said it shot down the missile, with fragments landing in an uninhabited area north of the capital.

The coalition threatened Iran with a possible retaliatory strike.
...
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/n...story,amp.html
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:21 AM   #8
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A senior Saudi prince and seven other officials have been killed in a helicopter crash near the country's border with Yemen, state media report.

Prince Mansour bin Muqrin, the deputy governor of Asir province, was returning from an inspection tour when his aircraft came down near Abha late on Sunday, the interior ministry said.

It did not give a cause for the crash.

But it came hours after a major purge of the kingdom's political and business leadership.
...
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-41881058

The timing is very coincidental. Not sure what is going on over there, but it certainly appears as if wheels are turning.
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Old 11-06-2017, 01:49 PM   #9
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What is going on is nothing short of a complete purge of the old Saudi guard. A lot of old Saudis who are/were American loyalists have been caught and arrested in this "corruption" thing, including the incredibly rich and powerful Alaweed. That guy was a serious Bush loyalist by the way, and it will be interesting to see just how long the royal family sticks together when the smoke clears. The House of Saud is fucking HUGE, and a shake up like this is pretty big news over there, to the point that crude took a mighty leap because of it.

Popcorn is already popping in the microwave.......
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Old 11-06-2017, 02:13 PM   #10
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My Son was doing an event with Nitro Circus at Riyahd on the night they lobbed a missile at the place.
It actually passed over the arena whilst the event was underway. The arena is about 3 km from the airport. Apparently they waited until it was around 1km out from the airport perimeter then let rip with a wall of lead pouring from guns that track the heat signature of the incoming.
Im kinda glad they waited and didnt bring it down a bit sooner.
Youve got to be pretty cool to delay your response to an incoming missile and be reasonably confident you can still bring it down without too much disruption.

I guess its possible that there were some 'important' people in the audience that security were aware of .....

And this was the first event in the history of modern SA where unaccompanied Women were allowed to attend. Apparently they were loosely grouped together and kept away from the Men.
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Old 11-07-2017, 11:53 AM   #11
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Saudi Arabia on Monday called the attempted missile attack on Riyadh’s main airport this weekend an "act of war" by Iran and vowed to retaliate.
...
The attempted missile strike was "a blatant act of military aggression by the Iranian regime and could rise to be considered as an act of war," the Saudi Press Agency said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia “reserves its right to respond to Iran in the appropriate time and manner, in accordance with international law and based on the right of self-defense," the statement continued.

Speaking to CNN, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir unambiguously charged that Iran had effectively declared war.

"We see this as an act of war," he said. "Iran cannot lob missiles at Saudi cities and towns and expect us not to take steps."
...
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/11...taliation.html

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it but we tried to fight it ...
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Old 11-07-2017, 01:15 PM   #12
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This isn't going to end well at all. This kid just started something that he isn't powerful enough to finish. He'll be assassinated within six months....,tops. To go after that many high powered people, and to do so within your own family all at the same time is bad ju-ju. Had he done them one at a time, and stretched it out over a year or so, maybe he could have pulled it off, but not like this. It stinks of a power grab. Now he has his own army, who are loyal to some of the very folks he locked up, totally pissed off at him. This could be the end of the House of Saud. If the army takes over, we could witness the end of everything we know about the Middle East. We will definitely see war between S.A. and Iran as well, because that's exactly what the army wants. The only thing standing between them is the princes. The army wants these men freed.
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:33 AM   #13
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Emphasis mine:
Quote :
Saudi Arabia said it is targeting the assets of several ultra-rich businessmen and more than 60 princes in its recenrt crackdown on alleged currpution in the kingdom, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Multiple bank account of “persons of interests” have been frozen. The Saudi central bank saying the move was “in response to the Attorney General’s request pending the legal cases against them.”

The bank said in a statement on Tuesday that only individual accounts were subject to freeze, while corporate accounts remain functional.

The government has said that any wealth acquired through corruption will be nationalized, aiming to turn the assets worth up to $800 billion into a state property. “They reckon that they could get around 2 to 3 trillion riyals from these people. That’s the number they are talking about,” a Saudi government insider told the Journal.

The crackdown was facilitated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was named heir to the throne back in June, claiming tackling corruption in the oil-dependent kingdom was necessary to modernize the economy.

Efforts to confiscate the assets might not be without obstacles – a great deal of assets held by the alleged corrupt officials, businessmen and royals is abroad – but the authorities are positive some assets will be reclaimed.

Prince Salman reportedly needs “cash to fund the government’s investment plans” as a result of declining oil prices that sucked up once-abundant foreign cash reserves, according to risk advisory firm Eurasia Group on Monday.
...
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/11...dividuals.html

Yeah, you don't steal $800B from oligarchs without repercussions unless you kill them and their families. This isn't likely to end well.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:44 PM   #14
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Its a pretty high stakes game.
The young Prince will need to have a lot of trust in his team and its entirely possible that within that team are those with another outcome in mind and with a lot of their potential opposition already dealt with.....
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Old 11-13-2017, 04:12 PM   #15
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Like I said, I hope he's living inside a titanium bubble, because there's some big guns trained on his young ass. The Wahhabi's will want him dead for sure, as well as the hard line imams, so this will get interesting in real short order. Wait for the price of oil to shoot through the fookin' roof here. Perhaps it's time to buy the shit out of some May futures? Maybe this is all just a set-up for that very thing? Maybe they all get ultimately exonerated in the long run, but the whole shit show throws oil back up to $120 - $140 a barrel.
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:22 PM   #16
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Thank you for this line of thinking Ancona.
Almost all scenarios imply that there will be less oil hitting the markets in the near future.
I will restock my fuel tanks so I can progress the restoration work on my old mine next year.
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Old 11-16-2017, 03:01 AM   #17
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A Saudi prince is shaking up the Middle East — and may be pushing it toward war


http://www.latimes.com/world/middlee...114-story.html
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Old 02-03-2018, 02:38 PM   #18
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I can believe that. There's no way for a peaceful transition after the king passes. Too much money is going to be up for grabs.
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Old 03-21-2018, 08:52 AM   #19
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Interesting interview with Prince Alwaleed after his release from the Ritz-Carlton:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/featu...-after-83-days

Cliff notes: Reeducation successful

US Senators Sanders and Lee had proposed a resolution to end US backing for the Saudi-led bombing campaign without congressional approval. Senate kills it before a floor vote could be had:

https://news.antiwar.com/2018/03/20/...-of-yemen-war/

Quote :
  • Saudi Arabia's pursuit of a nuclear energy program grabbed headlines last week after Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman told CBS News that if Iran were to build a nuclear bomb, so would Saudi Arabia.
  • The kingdom is refusing to accept a deal that would forbid it from enriching uranium and reprocessing plutonium, the mechanisms necessary for developing a weapon.
  • The plan is raising concerns of a Middle Eastern arms race, especially in light of escalating tensions with Iran.
https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2018/03/20/...use-visit.html

Quote :
...
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, son of King Salman and heir to the throne, is opening a marathon tour of the United States with a stop in Washington, where he'll meet President Donald Trump on Tuesday. He'll hold separate meetings with a long roster of influential U.S. officials, including the secretaries of defense, treasury and commerce, the CIA chief and congressional leaders from both parties.
...
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/n...story,amp.html
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Old 03-23-2018, 08:47 AM   #20
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The White House told Congress Thursday that it plans to approve a $1 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, a package that includes about 6,700 U.S.-built anti-tank missiles.

The sale also includes support, maintenance and spare parts for American tanks, helicopters and other equipment already in Saudi Arabia's arsenal. Lawmakers have 30 days to act if they want to try and stop the deal.

The announcement came two days after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with President Trump as the royal started a three-week tour of the U.S.
...
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018...-missiles.html

RIP Yemen
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