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The notion that what is going on in Saudi Arabia is an “anti-corruption” drive is fooling no one. The most important aspects are the crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s consolidation of power and the stiffening of resolve against Iran that it represents. Austin Bay has a good column about the matter up this morning:
Since fall of the Shah of Iran in 1979, Iran and Saudi Arabia have confronted each other across the waters of the Persian Gulf. The presence of the U.S. naval forces in the region still deter overt Iranian military action in the Gulf. Iran’s Shia regime, however, is expansionist. The ayatollahs seek to control or influence Shia Muslim communities globally, but particularly in the Middle East. . .
The Saudis conduct air strikes on Houthi targets [in Yemen], which is why the Houthis portray the SRBM attacks as retaliatory. The Saudis, however, are certain that the November 4 missile was fired by members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and Lebanese Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia militia that Iran trains and finances. Hezbollah also provides proxy fighters for Iran elsewhere in the region (Syria).
One interesting question here is the extent to which the Saudis may be actively collaborating or cooperating with Israel, which has to eye Hezbollah constantly in next door Lebanon and Syria.
On the social revolution front in Saudi Arabia, it is worth taking in this report from The Guardian:
“The message is that everything that used to be Saudi Arabia is no longer the case,” said a senior minister, who like all other officials refused to put his name to his views. “This is a revolution,” he explained. “Everything is so sensitive. We must be patient until it all settles down.”:snip:

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