Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud

How Gen. Soleimani’s assassination could affect Iran-Saudi ties

Al-Monitor | : There is little doubt that the recent US assassination of powerful Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani in Iraq was good news to Saudi Arabia, which had kept the commander on its own terror list since October 2018.

The general, who commanded Iran’s Quds Force — the special forces unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) — rarely targeted Saudi Arabia with direct harsh rhetoric. But he exercised no reservation when it came to hitting back at Saudi threats. In October 2016, Gen. Soleimani commented on internal Saudi politics, describing Mohammed bin Salman as a crown prince in hasty pursuit of his ambitions.

“He aims to push aside Mohammed bin Nayef [grandson of the founding monarch, King Abdul-Aziz] and may even resort to killing his own father [King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud] to occupy the throne,” he said.

In June 2019, Gen. Soleimani’s message for the United States and Saudi Arabia was more explicit and pejorative: “Whether it is the US, Saudi Arabia or any other fool, they can’t do a thing to us as we are here to stand up against them.”

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