Sunday, April 05, 2009

Nayef as Security Czar

Some analysts are suggesting that Prince Nayef's recent appointment is because King Abdullah was worried about potential threats from Iran:
"Saudi Arabia's appointment of its top security official as a deputy to the king should address concerns over Iranian influence, after tensions with its Shiite minority escalated to a rare threat of secession, analysts say...

"'This was a careful arrangement among top royals. Prince Sultan's absence left a big void and raised many questions over the efficiency of decision-making system. This appointment solves this big issue,' a senior Saudi official said on condition of anonymity."

I guess the thinking behind this is that bumping up the long-time Interior Minister also bumps up the portfolio with which he deals? A deeper issue here is the apparent Saudi belief that Iran is behind recent restiveness among the country's Shi'ites. Repression under the anti-Shi'ite Wahhabi regime probably has far more to do with it.

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Anonymous First said...

Depressing news. Nayef's the most right wing of the top guys in KSA, and if this indicates the future political development it's not good. The best possible spin one could put on it is that the move is some kind of sop to conservatives in the clerical establishment - and thus easily reversable. I know: wishful thinking & Saudi Arabia don't go together.

7:42 AM  

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