Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has described the Muslim Brotherhood as “very dangerous” and slammed Iran for being behind the problems of the Middle East.
“Saudi Arabia is the biggest victim of the extremist ideology,” he told TIME magazine in an interview.
“All the extremist organizations in Saudi Arabia, we treat them as terrorist organizations, like the Muslim Brotherhood. They are very dangerous, and they are classified in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and a lot of countries in the Middle East as a terrorist organization,” the Crown Prince said.
“They’re not in the Middle East because they know that the Middle East is taking good strategy against them in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, Jordan, and a lot of countries. Their main target is to radicalize Muslim communities in Europe.”
Asked about Tehran, the Crown Prince said: “If you see any problem in the Middle East, you will find Iran.”
But he stressed that the Iranian regime is “not a big threat to Saudi Arabia.”
“We might disagree on … some of (former) President (Barack) Obama’s views, but also we agree on a lot of things. So we worked together to fight terrorism with President Obama in the beginning of 2016 we had the same views of the Iranian regime and the danger of the Iranian regime. The only difference was in the tactics of how we should deal with that evil narrative of the Iranian regime,” the Crown Prince told TIME.
“So it’s not a big difference. We are aligned 99 percent. The difference is only 1 percent. But, you know, people try to focus on the 1 percent and avoid the 99 percent that we agreed on,” he added.
About his ties with President Donald Trump, the Crown Prince told his interviewer: “Of course we have a good relationship with President Trump, with his team, with his family, with all the key people in his administration, and also we have a very good relationship with many members of Congress from both parties and a lot of people in the United States of America.”
“Everyone believes in the importance of both countries to face the dangers facing us and also to continue growing and getting a better future for both countries,” he stated.
On the war in Yemen, the Crown Prince said the Iran-backed Houthis don’t think about Yemen’s interests. “They only care about their ideology, the Iranian ideology, the Hezbollah ideology.”
Asked if the Arab Coalition would use ground troops in Yemen, he said: “It’s a battle between Yemeni people, Yemeni government trying to get rid of the terrorists who hijacked their country and their normal life. And it’s their battle.”
“Whatever they ask us in Saudi Arabia or the other 12 countries in the coalition, we’ll provide. Until today they didn’t ask for soldiers on the ground,” he added.
“The humanitarian problem in Yemen didn’t start in 2015. It started in 2014 when the Houthis started to move,” the Crown Prince said in response to a question on war casualties.
“We are the biggest donor in the history of Yemen. We are still doing our best to be sure that the humanitarian need in Yemen and the interests of the people, health care, education, whatever, it’s supported,” he added.
On the peace process, he told his interviewer that “the people of Palestine know best their ways.”
He said Riyadh always tells Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas “that whatever you think is good for you, we will support it.”
“We cannot have a relation with Israel before solving the peace issue,” he added.