Saudi backing of Iranian exile group inflames Mideast conflicts

Barbara Slavin writes: Iran and Saudi Arabia are experts at infuriating each other, with dismal consequences for the region they co-inhabit.

Facing off in proxy conflicts from Yemen to Syria, they are also practitioners in a propaganda war that now extends to open Saudi support for an Iranian exile group that seeks the overthrow of the Iranian regime.

Prince Turki al-Faisal, a respected former Saudi ambassador to Britain and the United States, startled many observers when he turned up Saturday at a conference in Paris of the Mujaheddin-e Khalq or MEK.

Turki, who also served as Saudi director of intelligence and who presumably got prior government approval for his Paris speech, responded to cries from the crowd to overthrow the Iranian government, “I, too, want the downfall of the regime.”

If that is indeed the case, the Saudi ex-official has picked an unlikely vehicle for regime change, but one that is sure to deepen the chasm between two of the most important countries in the Muslim world. [Continue reading…]

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