Hariri's fate in doubt amid Saudi-Lebanon escalation

Claudine Rigal
Novembre 12, 2017

The VIP guests were booted out, the front doors were shuttered, and heavily armed security forces took up positions around the perimeter. Bin Salman's ascent and methods now promise to change Saudi Arabia forever.

The Saudis and their allies say the Houthis get weapons from their arch-foe, Iran.

"We condemn the outrageous missile attack on Riyadh over the weekend just as we condemn all attacks on civilians", Lowcock added. Eleven senior princes were among them, as well as dozens of businessmen, and current and former ministers and provincial governors. Lenders including Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Samba Capital helped arrange the loan. On Thursday, Downing Street said that it would provide Saudi energy giant Aramco with credit guarantees of $2 billion to facilitate trade between the two countries. There was no immediate comment from the royal court on this story.

"Humanitarian operations are currently blocked as a result of the closure of air and sea ports in Yemen", UN spokesman Jens Laerke said. "And our system knocked it down", Trump said, referring to the Patriot missiles the U.S. has sold to the kingdom. Of note, the Jomuri-e Eslami newspaper, whose editor is also appointed by the supreme leader, criticized Kayhan for its headline.

Hariri's own Future Movement party called Thursday for his immediate return home for the "dignity of the nation".

—Opening of all ports to humanitarian and commercial vessels, especially those with critical supplies.

Speaking about the nuclear deal, Kharrazi said the path that resulted in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) would have been pursued regardless of who won the 2013 presidential elections in Iran.

Bin Salman's power grab is in itself spectacular.

The defense industry employs tens of thousands of workers in Britain where concerns over faltering economic prospects are on the rise. The Jewish state is hardly a natural ally for Saudi Arabia, but they have long shared a common enemy: Iran. A donor conference on aid to 1.5m refugees that was expected before the year's end could be postponed. The last three kings have reached the throne aged 61, 80 and 79.

According to the Wall Street Journal journal, the newly formed anti-corruption committee is aiming to seize up to $800bn in assets from those detained.

On November 4th, the same day as the Saudi purge, Lebanon's prime minister, Saad Hariri, unexpectedly appeared on television to announce he was resigning.

In September he announced that Saudi women will be given the right to drive.

Prince Mohammed, who is widely known in Saudi Arabia by his initials MbS, had said openly in interviews that he would investigate the kingdom's endemic corruption and would not hesitate to go after top officials. His departure has shocked the region.

Still, Saudi Arabia has other cards to play. "The potential scale of corrupt practices that have been uncovered is large", the Ministry said.

Prince Mohammed decided to move on his family, the person familiar with events said, when he realized more relatives opposed him becoming king than he had thought. But he may be forced to compromise to salvage the economy.

The military hostilities have already started.

A Saudi-led offensive, which began in 2015, targeted pushing back Houthi advances but has been dogged by widespread allegations of international law violations. The Saudis, though, are adamant, and they say that retaliation will follow.

In his prerecorded resignation speech Saturday, Hariri accused Iran and its Lebanese proxy, the Shiite militant Hezbollah, of meddling in regional affairs and holding Lebanon hostage.

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