In an interview with US magazine The Atlantic on April 2, Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman said that Ali Khamenei was worse than Hitler and that Saudi Arabia “was trying to help the Yemeni people.”
Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman (known as “MBS”), a charm offensive in the United States since the end of March , responded on April 2 to the questions of Jeffrey Goldberg, the foreign policy specialist of the American magazine The Atlantic .
Hitler did not do what the supreme guide is trying to do
True to his doxa in international relations vilifying Iran, Mohamed Ben Salman has not hesitated to qualify the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as worse than Hitler. “Beside him [Ali Khamenei], Hitler makes a good impression,” he said, continuing: “Hitler did not do what the Supreme Leader tries to do. Hitler tried to conquer Europe. [Ali Khamenei] is trying to conquer the world. ”
Following the same doctrine as David Frum, former speechwriter of former President George W. Bush, MBS described the enemies of his kingdom as the “triangle of evil,” referring to Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, and to Sunni terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS.
Regarding Israel, MBS “did not have a bad word to say,” says interviewer Jeffrey Goldberg. Asked whether the Jewish people were entitled to a nation-state in at least a part of Israel’s current state, the Crown Prince replied, “I believe that every people, anywhere, has the right to live in his peaceful nation. I believe that Palestinians and Israelis have the right to have their own land. ”
“Saudi Arabia is trying to help the people of Yemen”
Although the interview took place before the bloody crackdown on Israeli authorities that left at least 17 Palestinian dead on March 30, Jeffrey Goldberg said the incident would not have changed the Crown Prince’s mindset.
“My meeting with Prince Mohamed took place before the recent and deadly violence on the Gaza-Israel border, but I do not think the Crown Prince would have moderated his views in the light of these events,” Goldberg writes. “The Saudis, like many Arab leaders, have grown tired of Palestinians,” he said.
Regarding Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen since March 2015, which claimed more than 10,000 civilians , Mohamed bin Salmane said “Saudi Arabia is trying to help the people of Yemen.”
The crown prince was also questioned about freedom of expression in his kingdom. He confides that there are three lines that should not be crossed in Saudi Arabia: not to defame Islam, not to target a person when one wants to criticize an institution, “because of Saudi culture”, and “all what concerns national security.
“But except that, people have the freedom to do what they want” in Saudi Arabia, he added. Jeffrey Goldberg did not want to question the Saudi leader about corruption in his kingdom. “Partly because it’s a difficult concept to define in a country where the expropriation of national wealth is a defining characteristic of absolute monarchies,” he explains. Mohamed ben Salmane is in any case at heart to defend this political regime: “If the absolute monarchy did not exist, you would not have the United States”, he pointed out, in a reference to the support of France Louis XVI to American independence.
The Saudi leader has been on an official visit to the United States since March 19th. In particular, the signing of numerous arms contracts with the current tenant of the White House.