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MIDEAST: Iran-Saudi rivalry escalates infographic

Saudi opens Lebanon front in struggle with Iran

Graphic News

November 9, 2017 -- A cold war between Saudi Arabia and its neighbour, arch-rival Iran, is intensifying as the two powers struggle to shape a regional order devoid of so-called Islamic State (IS).

The televised resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri from Riyadh and anti-corruption purge of senior ministers and princes under orders from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) come in the context of a regional power play by Saudi against Iran, Al Jazeera reports.

Over the past year, MbS has become the ultimate decision-maker for the kingdom’s military, foreign, economic and social policies, consolidating oversight of the armed forces, General Intelligence Directorate, and national guard.

MbS is engaged in a prolonged war in Yemen, a Saudi-led economic blockade against Qatar, and has hosted Shiite politician Muqtada al-Sadr to promote Arab unity between Iraq and Saudi Arabia and opened a dialogue with Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

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