If Saudi Arabia doesn’t succeed in continuing to impose economic and political sanctions to terminate Iran’s nuclear program, they are likely to go to war with Iran in 10-15 years, the kingdom’s Minister of Defense and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told the Wall Street Journal in an interview this week.
The crown prince called on the international community to create more pressure on the Iranian regime so as to avoid a military conflict.
“We have to succeed so as to avoid military conflict,” the royal said. “If we don’t succeed in what we are trying to do, we will likely have war with Iran in 10-15 years.”
The nuclear agreement had been made by Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, which loosened sanctions on the country in return for promises to curb their nuclear program.
The agreement has been continuously criticized as it made way for the Khamenei regime to meddle in Arab countries’ affairs, the crown prince stated. Following the nuclear deal, Iran has been visibly building its influence in Syria and Iraq, and supplying Yemen’s Houthi militia and rebels with weaponry used against Saudi Arabia.
More recently, Saudi forces intercepted seven Yemeni rebel missiles targeting major cities, including Riyadh. It was the first attack the involved a casualty. The missile remains were later discovered to be of Iranian making.
In the interview, the prince dismissed the attacks as a sign of weakness. “They want to do whatever they can do before they collapse,” he said of the Houthi militia.
He added that the kingdom had no choice but to intervene in the Yemen crisis, or else foreign terrorist groups would have harbored there.
“If we didn’t act in 2015 we would have had Yemen divided in half between the Houthis and al Qaeda,” the crown prince said.
The Muslim Brotherhood
In his interview with CBS’s 60 minutes, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that the extremist ideologies of the Muslim Brotherhood “invaded” the education system in the kingdom.
“The Muslim Brotherhood is an incubator for terrorists,” Prince Mohammed said. “We have to get rid of extremism. Without extremism no one can become a terrorist.”
The crown prince’s US visit
In his two-week visit to the US where the crown prince met with the country’s top business and political figures, several deals were made to bolster investments and the economy of the kingdom.
With the prince’s 2030 Vision, Saudi Arabia is moving towards becoming a more liberal society.
“We can’t drag people to live in Saudi Arabia in an environment that is not competitive,” said the prince, who is spearheading a plan to diminish the kingdom’s dependence on oil revenues. “The environment in Saudi Arabia is pushing even Saudis outside Saudi Arabia. That is one reason we want social reforms.”
The kingdom has already announced the opening of movie theaters andallowing women to drive. Mohammed bin Salman told the newspaper that more will follow.