In his first interview with an American TV network, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman slammed Iran and talked about his future ascent to the throne. According to bin Salman, Tehran is harboring terrorists, including Osama bin Laden’s son.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Photo Credit: EPA
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who is also the kingdom’s defense minister, recently claimed that Iran is protecting al-Qaeda terrorists.
In his first interview with an American television network, bin Salman told CBS’ Norah O’Donnell that Iran is protecting Osama bin Laden’s son, who is the new leader of al-Qaeda, by continuing to refuse to extradite him to the US. “He lives in Iran and works out of Iran,” he said, according to the 60 Minutes transcript of the interview. “He is supported by Iran.”
Bin Salman also vowed that the kingdom would develop a nuclear weapon if Iran becomes a nuclear state. “Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible,” he explained.
In addition, he doubled down on his claim that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is the “new Hitler of the Middle East.”
“He wants to expand. He wants to create his own project in the Middle East very much like Hitler who wanted to expand at the time,” he explained. “Many countries around the world and in Europe did not realize how dangerous Hitler was until what happened, happened. I don’t want to see the same events happening in the Middle East.”
Bin Salman replaced his cousin Muhammad bin Nayef as the heir to the throne in June 2017. When his father, King Salman, dies, bin Salman will likely become the youngest king to rule Saudi Arabia. To date, King Saud, the second Saudi king in the modern-day kingdom, was the youngest to ascend the throne at the age of 51.
O’Donnell commented on bin Salman’s expected long reign during the interview and asked the young prince if anything can stop him from ruling the kingdom. “Only death,” he replied.