By Patrick Brogan
Saudi Arabia seems to want to dominate the news cycle this week. Yesterday, we reported on the upheaval caused by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s corruption purge. Last weekend, Lebanon’s Prime Minister stood down. It has been suggested that this was part of bin Salman’s purge as Haad al-Hariri has business links to the Saudis and had met with bin Salman just before resigning.
Haad al-Hariri cited Hezbollah interference in his standing down. Hezbollah are closely allied to Iran and many see this as a further deterioration between Iran and Saudi Arabia. They have long carried out a proxy against each in places like Syria and Yemen. The Saudi Gulf Affairs Minister said the al-Haririless Lebanese Government would be treated as a government that declared war on Saudi Arabia. Was al-Hariri stepping down all a ploy to antagonise Hezbollah and Iran?
Hezbollah are not an organisation to be trifled with. They are stronger than the Lebanese army and recently helped remove ISIS from parts of the Syrian border. In 2006, they halted the military advance of Israel, something over militaries in the region have failed to do.
As bin Salman consolidates power, he also seems to be fixing an eye on regional rival Iran. An all out war does not seem like a possibility yet, but each of these measures inches them closer to such a disaster.
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