Saudi Crown Prince Meets With Head of U.S. Army’s Central Command
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS as he is known, met in Riyadh with the head of the United States Army’s Central Command, General Kenneth McKenzie, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency. It comes after MBS on April 9 talked by phone with US President Donald Trump about maintaining diplomatic and economic pressure on Iran, as well as human rights violations in the region. Saudi Arabia supported the Trump Administration’s designation of Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a “foreign terrorist organization,” a proscription that officially took effect Monday. The Gulf kingdom likewise banned the IRGC, a branch of the Iranian army, in October 2018. Washington and Riyadh are also working together with key Sunni allies on a US-led security initiative dubbed the “Arab NATO.” Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia has faced intense international scrutiny over the past months due to its role in fighting Iranian-backed Houthis rebels in war-torn Yemen; the imprisonment and persecution of women’s rights activists; and the October killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.