To crush Iran, Trump has to stick to bin Salman


That is why the President, against the advice of all the top allies of America, has imposed new and potentially existential sanctions on Iran because he violated a treaty that the world believes has been respected in the letter, if not the spirit.

But if it wants to succeed in this demolition of the Iranian system, it is becoming clear that Trump will have to accept Mohammed bin Salman, widely accused as the brain behind the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi as an effective commander of Saudi Arabia with all that it implies for a next generation. And that implies a lot. MBS denies having ordered the murder.

Solving many problems in the Middle East – especially Iran, Qatar and the endless war in Yemen – revolves around Western, and especially American, acceptance of Saudi Arabia's profound need for security.

The road to this security runs directly through the vicious, uncompromising hegemony of Mohammad bin Salman. This is the conclusion of Ali Shihabi, the founder of the Washington-based Arab Foundation, who, according to journalist and scholar Thomas Lippman, often informally speaks frankly about Saudi Arabia's dominant family.

Shihabi believes that too many of the recent MBS moves, as it is known in and out of the realm, are deeply flawed.

But he also observes that "the crown prince has never pretended to be a political reformer," which is not entirely true.

Indeed, his expectations of being just such a reformer – allowing women to drive, opening cinemas – is what he was particularly enthusiastic about in a broad, even bilateral, Washington campaign.

But Shihabi correctly observes: "Is the Prince of the Apostle an absolute monarchy who understands that economic and social transformation is necessary to preserve the future of his country and who believes that such a change in a deeply polarized country like Saudi Arabia can to come only from the top. "

In short, Shahibi admits, in his excellent paper, that MBS "is not Jefferson's Democrat," but has in fact the absolute security of Saudi Arabia.

And obviously at all costs. The cost will certainly be heavy – especially after Monday, as the Trump restores sanctions against Iran that had been lifted after the signing of the agreement by the country, which severely restricts its nuclear ambitions.

To make these sticks, Trump needed another ally. Together came Saudi Arabia – and especially MBS.

The price of MBS support proved to be high. There was free injury to the Prince of Crown to do what he liked whenever he wished.

And when Donald Trump started protesting against the press as "the enemy of the people," what MBS saw and his father in Riyadh was allowed to be imprisoned, disappeared, and even possibly killed.

Not everyone of course agreed with this assessment.

Then there was Qatran's exclusion from bin Salman, who hosts the powerful Al Jazeera news channel and ruled a monarch who was poorly committed to Saudi Arabia.

Finally, the violent war in Yemen, which Saudi Arabia seeks in view of almost every international post.

US aircraft continue to supply airborne bombs bombed by Saudi Arabia, who have left tens of thousands of people, even children, dead and millions on the verge of hunger – one of the most serious humanitarian situations in the world.

However, Iran has the most serious potential as a long-term irreversible crisis. If Iran sees the last turn of the screw from the Trump administration and its supporters from Saudi Arabia as an existential threat, it will abolish nuclear power and return with full inclination to the nuclear arsenal, it will not find this genie back in bottle.

The main problem is that all sides at this point simply do not seem to be able to get out of their own way.

Saudi Arabia just ignored the government's call for a cease-fire in Yemen.
At the same time, Iranian agents were accused of murdering an enemy regime in Denmark, embittering the European community, which is strongly protesting the renewal of the American Trump sanctions for Iran.

What the world really needs is for someone to become an adult in the room. Ideally, this person should be Donald Trump.

The US uses Saudi weakness against Khashoggi to push the war in Yemen

In any case, when the President reaches the phone to talk to the aged, but still extremely powerful King Salman, Trump seems to lose all logic.

Talks are always wonderful and productive. "He just spoke with the king of Saudi Arabia, who denies any knowledge of what may happen" to our Saudi citizen " Trump tweeted last month in the height of the Khashoggi crisis.

Of course, it is likely that someone else is sitting at the other end of these calls with the king – perhaps his son, who is completely out of control. A White House official said he did not discuss arrangements for high-level phone calls.

Now we have passed the time we need to know with certainty who is interested in the store. It's too late and the bets are too high to sink blindly into the abyss.