King Salman of Saudi Arabia bucked orthodoxy on Tuesday when he announced that he had stripped the title of Crown Prince from his 57-year old nephew and tapped his 31-year old son, Mohammed Bin Salman, as his replacement. The son of the sitting Saudi King is now next in line to the throne of the Kingdom. In an unprecedented move, King Salman has amended the Saudi constitution, decreeing that only a son or grandson of a descendent of Faisal al-Saud, the first King and founder of the Saudi state, can be crowned King or Crown Prince of the Saudi monarchy.

King Salman’s decision will impact Saudi Arabia more so then any decision he can make presently as King, as the next King of the center of the Islamic world is young, ambitious and has a goal to change the very image of the Kingdom.

Who is Mohammed bin Salman?

Mohammed bin Salman, the newly appointed Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, is already a well-established and formidable player on both the Saudi and world stage. The 31-year old is the Saudi defense minister and therefore is leading the Kingdom's war in Yemen -- which recently heated up while bin Salman and his father met with President Trump. Bin Salman is staunchly anti-Iran, allegedly even more so than his father. In an interview with NBC News, bin Salman parroted the US talking point that Iran is working “to take over the Islamic world.” As the leading player behind the proxy war against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, expect anti-Iran sentiment and policy to be at the core of the young Crown Prince's eventual foreign policy.

The downside of the inevitable rule of Mohammed bin Salman will be found in his foreign policy, which will center around hostility to Iran and will further destabilize the region. The upside will be felt mostly domestically in Saudi Arabia, as the young Crown Prince is bold in his ambition for a new, green and moderate Kingdom.

He told NBC News that his vision of Saudi Arabia “is a tolerant country, with Islam as its constitution and moderation as its method.” Bin Salman is also the head of Saudi Arabia’s Council for Economic and Development Affairs. The Council drafted “Vision 2030,” a radically progressive plan to modernize the Kingdom’s energy policy.

Bin Salman is in favor of ending Saudi Arabia’s oil-based economy, instead envisioning a pivot to clean and renewable energy. He has advocated for privatizing the state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco, and even is in favor of an increased role for women in the economy. His intention, as stated in Vision 2030, is to transform Saudi Arabia into a "global investment powerhouse."

The future of Saudi Arabia

Those in charge of US foreign policy must take note of this sudden change of hierarchy, and inevitable change in policy, within the government of our most trusted ally in the Middle East. With bin Salman set to assume the throne within a decade, making him the youngest King in the history of Saudi Arabia, there is the chance for a drastic change in the American-Saudi relationship.

The Trump administration is very pro-Saudi, recently inking a $100 billion arms deal with the Sunni Kingdom. If bin Salman were to ascend to the throne with Trump in the White House, either an unprecedented golden age of weapons or a downturn would take place as Saudi Arabia moves on to an age of clean and renwable energy.

"This guy is all about change,” Saudi analyst Ahmad Al-Ibrahim told NBC News. He said that the new Crown Prince has “huge ambitions. And a Western mind-set that he wants to apply to Saudi Arabia.” While his moderate, less Conservative, and progressive view of social and energy policy is refreshing and hopeful, what this "change" will consist of is yet to be seen.