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Iran: Change in Saudi heir is a 'soft coup'

June 21, 2017 at 11:51 am

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman chairs in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 15 November, 2016 [Pool/Bandar Algaloud/Anadolu]

Iranian state media today called the appointment of Mohammed Bin Salman to the position of crown prince and successor to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman a “soft coup”.

“Soft coup in Saudi Arabia/Son becomes the succesor of the father,” read the headline on the Iranian state TV website.

The move is likely to rattle Iran’s leadership, which has been critical of comments by Prince Mohammed last month that the “battle” should be taken into Iran.

Read: Saudi king names son Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince, removes Mohammad bin Nayef

Iran and Saudi Arabia compete for power and influence across the region. The two countries support opposite sides in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

Tension between the two countries increased last month when US President Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia and repeatedly accused the Islamic Republic of supporting terrorism.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei labelled the Saudi leadership “idiots” in a speech last month.