…from PressTV, Tehran
[ Editor’s Note: Are the long knives out for bin Salman? Who really knows? Are the anonymous Royal sources for real? We can’t tell for now until some begin to come public.
But that would be a dangerous step as MbS has made clear what the penalty for criticism is. I watched the new Frontline feature on him this week, where they had used a good bit of Khashoggi footage, who got chopped up for his protests.
The Aramco-Yemen double hit, where the Houthis wiped the desert of three Saudi brigades, is a shock the country has not absorbed, nor can they say much about as it exposed the Saudi military for what it is, a Hollywood army.
The silver lining here is we see solid outreaching going on now with MbS certainly behind the peace feelers to arrange a meeting with Iran. His only looking at being able to sell 1% of Armaco for $10 billion is the new number. Last week it was $20 billion.
There are whispers that MbS is in a “save his own behind” mode now, not kicking Iran’s. You notice how quiet the Israelis have been on all this. We are in a strange period where many can sense change is coming, but we still don’t know if it will be the big blowup kind, like a coup in Saudi Arabia.
We will watch and wait. Iran was quite open today that it welcomes the Saudis’ peace feelers with open arms. We hope for the best… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … October 02, 2019 –
A number of Saudi royal family members have expressed frustration over Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ability to lead the kingdom following a devastating attack by the Yemeni army on the country’s oil sites, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
According to a senior foreign diplomat and five sources close to the ruling family, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity, the missile-and-drone attack by Yemen has sparked anger among several prominent members of the Al Saud family and also some in elite circles who maintain the young crown prince has adopted an exaggeratedly aggressive foreign policy towards Iran.
“There is a lot of resentment” about MbS’ leadership, said one of the sources. “How were they not able to detect the attack?”
This person also added that some people in elite circles have “no confidence” in the crown prince, an assertion that was echoed by the other sources.
Yemeni army forces and allied fighters from Popular Committees deployed as many as 10 drones to bomb Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities run by the Saudi state-owned oil company Aramco on September 14.
The unprecedented attack knocked out more than half of Saudi crude output, or five percent of global supply, prompting Saudi and US officials to claim without any evidence that it probably originated from Iraq or Iran.
According to experts, it might take months for Saudi oil production to return to normal. Earlier estimates had suggested it could take weeks.
Attacks on Saudi oil facilities are a blow to Prince Salman’s wishful plans for building a modern country.
Since coming to power, MbS has been pressuring rich families in Saudi Arabia to buy shares of Aramco in a bid to provide the money he needed for his ambitious economic plans.
However, those families have shown no real interest in the Aramco’s IPO scheme due to growing uncertainties about the future of the company.
Analysts and bankers had believed before the Yemeni attacks that Aramco’s valuation at $2 trillion was unrealistic, saying $1.5 trillion would be more achievable.
However, further devaluation caused by the attacks would mean that bin Salman and the Saudi government would earn nothing more than $10 billion in an initial floating of Aramco which would include a sell-off of one percent of the company’s shares.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched an all-out campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing Ansarullah movement.
The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 91,000 lives over the past four and a half years.
The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.