Iran State Media Peddles Rumor of Coup by Saudi Crown Prince

The Associated Press
AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Iran’s state-controlled Fars News Agency claimed in a “report” Monday that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) is planning to overthrow his father in an elaborate coup.

The report comes amid increased scrutiny on the Iranian Islamic regime following a speech by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Sunday warning Iran of further American support for protesters, which triggered a back-and-forth between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and American President Donald Trump.

Fars News’ MBS rumor is far from the first of its kind. In April, Iran’s state-owned Press TV claimed that MBS was shot, prompting the Saudi kingdom to release a video soon thereafter to combat the false rumors perpetrated by Tehran.

“Bin Salman intends to treat his father the same way he did in the case of the former crown prince and his cousin Mohamed bin Nayef,” Sultan al-Abdoli al-Qamedi, an alleged kingdom source, told Fars News Agency on Monday.

“Bin Salman will not wait for his father to resign and will make him leave power anytime that he thinks is proper,” al-Qamedi added.

The Fars News Agency is suggesting that MBS, known for his unorthodox reformulations, is trying to forcibly oust King Salman who has bestowed historic powers allowing to transform the country.

Various reports claim King Salman is suffering from various ailments, but the sitting king has already granted MBS control of transformation efforts in Saudi Arabia, prompting corruption probes that have led to the arrests of dozens local businessmen, officials, and royalty. The MBS-led arrests in Saudi Arabia are considered “the biggest such purge of the kingdom’s affluent elite in its modern history,” Reuters reported in November 2017, adding that with MBS at the forefront, “Events in Saudi Arabia in recent days appeared to open the prospect for a sharper confrontation with Iran and its proxies.” U.S. President Donald Trump endorsed the anti-corruption purge.

The Saudi rumors appear to be a distraction from President Trump’s recent warning to Iran, telling Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Twitter on Sunday:

In an interview with the Atlantic, the Saudi Crown Prince declared that Iran’s Supreme Leader “makes Hitler look good,” recognizing the Jewish people’s right to “their own land,” a position that is likely to infuriate Iran, which is intent on erasing Israel’s existence from the Middle East.

“The Iranian revolution [created] a regime based on an ideology of pure evil. A regime not working for the people, but serving an ideology,” MBS declared in April 2018.

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