Saudi Arabia right about Iran challenge; but needs strategy

Rather than carefully pushing back Iran, Saudi Arabia's foreign and security policy has been haphazard and counterproductive, writes Emile Hokayem.

King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

By Emile Hokayem, Senior Fellow for Middle East Security

Few things are as explosive as the combination of power, ambition and anxiety — and there is plenty of all three in Riyadh these days.

Once a cautious and passive regional power, Saudi Arabia has found a new purpose in recent years. The ruthless ambition of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in full display at home with his crackdown on businessmen and members of the royal family, also radiates across the Middle East, driven by the urgency to check Iranian influence. Prince Mohammed has a point. Iran is set on becoming the dominant power from Iraq to Lebanon.

Read the full article at the New York Times

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IISS Research Programme

Middle East and the Gulf

The IISS Middle East and the Gulf programme is based at the IISS–Middle East Office and provides analysis of regional geopolitics and security, including the Iran nuclear accord, the ongoing civil war in Syria, and enduring instability in Iraq.