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Events in Saudi Arabia over the last few months have underlined and strengthened the power of Mohammed bin Sultan, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. With backing from the Trump Administration, he has taken a strong line against Iran and Qatar. A breath-taking purge of corruption suspects, or some say of potential opponents and rivals, showed that MBS does not intend to liberalise Saudi Arabia’s political scene. But such apparently arbitrary authoritarian behaviour could undermine other reform goals such as attracting foreign investment; meanwhile, a showdown with Iran gets more likely.


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