The King of #Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdul Aziz appointed his son Muhammad Bin Salman as the new Crown Prince, discharging his nephew Muhammad bin Nayef from his duties. The decision came after Muhammad Bin Nayef opposed the Kingdom's decision of cutting ties with Qatar.

Early life and beginnings in politics

Muhammad bin salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud was born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1985, and is the son of the incumbent King Salman and of Princess Fahda Bint Sultan. Bin Salman obtained a degree in law from King Saud University in Riyadh. Muhammad Sin Salman recently appeared in the Saudi political spectrum after his father ascended to the throne in 2015, and has been the minister of defense ever since.

Trump's Ally

Bin Salman is known to be close to US President #Donald Trump since he was the first Arab ruler to visit the American President at the White House. The latter commended the young prince's elevation and promised to improve American-Saudi ties during a recent phone call. Bin Salman was present in last month's Riyadh Summit, where the US and Saudi Arabia signed a $110 billion weapons deal.


Israeli officials also expressed their approbation the new appointment.

From the beginning of the decade, Saudi Arabia's enmity to Iran has lured the Israeli government. And Bin Salman is renown for his negative positions towards Iran. In a recent interview, he considered that the ultimate aim of Iran is to take control of the Saudi city of Mecca, Islam's holiest shrine.

According to the Qatari website Al-Jazeera, the Israeli defense minister Avigdor Liberman advocated for establishing "full diplomatic and economic relations" with Saudi Arabia. Even the Israeli newspaper Haaretz declared that "Saudi Arabia's New Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Is Good News for Israel and U.S.".


Staunchly opposed to the Israeli influence in the region, Iran seems opposed to the new appointment.

According to Reuters, Iranian state media criticized the decision as a "soft coup". During the Riyadh's summit, Saudi officials accused Iran of supporting terrorism in the Middle East.


Last month, KSA has cut its economic and diplomatic ties with Qatar after accusations of supporting terrorist groups. Surprisingly, Qatari Emir congratulated the new Crown Prince and proposed to maintain "brotherly relations" between the two countries.

Nevertheless, KSA doesn't seem to share this positive approach.


Saudi Arabia got involved in the Syrian civil war as a fierce opponent of the Syrian regime. Yet Bin Salman's enemy, Iran, is a strong supporter of the Syrian Regime. During the Riyadh summit, Saudi minister of external affairs Adel Al-Jubayr has accused Iran of supporting Hezbollah, who are fighting along with the Syrian troops, labeling the latter as the "world's greatest terrorist organization". Additionally, Salman's recent pejorative remarks over Iran's religious beliefs have angered Hezbollah.


As a defense minister, bin Salman has lead Saudi Arabia to war in neighboring Yemen. His appointment as the Crown Prince might be seen as an official approval of the new heir apparent's policy in Yemen.


Turkey has opposed the Arab boycott of Qatar. On June 19, Turkish troops deployed in Qatar, rising more tensions along the Saudi-Qatari axis. However, According to Daily Sabah, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have recently called the Saudi King and agreed on alleviating tensions. What message to Turkey resides behind the new appointment?

Although the new Crown Prince promised ambitious economic reforms, the appointment risks deepening the Middle-Eastern conflict. By elevating a fierce enemy of Iran, Qatar, the Syrian regime, and Yemen, the decision has clearly shown the strife between the neighboring countries. What will KSA and the Middle East look like under Muhammad bin Salman's rule? Does the appointment of a defense minister as Crown Prince signal more military interventions?