Ian Black writes: Turki al-Faisal is a remarkably modest man for a senior Saudi prince, always insisting that he speaks for no-one but himself and certainly not the ruling family. But the kingdom’s former intelligence chief and ambassador to Washington has a habit of making waves when he appears in public.
Last weekend, he was one of several VIPs who attended a conference of the Iranian opposition movement, the National Council of Resistance Iran (NCRI), near Paris. Turki accused the Islamic Republic of destabilising the Middle East and “spreading chaos”. He even said that he hoped to see the fall of the regime – in the familiar phrase of the Arab spring uprisings.
On a positive note, Turki did point to the long friendship and cooperation between Arabs and Persians, praising cultural achievements and religious commonalities and arguing that current tensions were an exception. But he also attacked what he called the “Khomeini cancer” – strong words for such an exquisitely polite man to use about the architect of the 1979 revolution, who is still officially revered in Iran. [Continue reading…]