No Major Shift Expected in Saudi Foreign Policy

No Major Shift Expected in Saudi Foreign Policy No Major Shift Expected in Saudi Foreign Policy

A senior Iranian expert on West Asia said although the new Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf is a logical person, he lacks the power to change Riyadh’s foreign policy.
Speaking to Tasnim News Agency, Sabah Zanganeh, a former Iranian envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, was commenting on the recent appointment of Assaf in a major Cabinet reshuffle in the Arab kingdom.
Zanganeh said Saudi policy is mostly determined by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, also known as MbS, who serves as deputy prime minister and defense minister.
“These policies are adopted in consultation with Emirati, American and sometimes Israeli advisors,” he said.
The analyst noted that one should not expect these policies to change dramatically with the replacement of an individual.



Jubeir Demoted  

“The new Saudi foreign minister, Assaf, is a logical person and can add some weight to Saudi Arabia in international circles and world forums, but he will not have the power to change the country’s policies,” Zanganeh stressed.
A Saudi royal decree on Wednesday demoted outgoing foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, to the position of minister of state for foreign affairs and named Assaf as his replacement.
The shakeup is the first since the Oct. 2 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul by a hit squad comprising members of MbS's inner circle.
The murder, as well as the Saudi government’s shifting narratives, sparked international outrage and jeopardized Riyadh’s relations with its western allies.
Turkey and western intelligence agencies have either hinted at or directly named King Salman’s son, MbS, as the mastermind behind the Saudi journalist’s murder, but the monarch left his heir’s portfolios unchanged in the latest reshuffle.

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