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Saudi Purge, Lebanon Power Struggle Add To Middle East Turmoil47:23Download

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A purge and palace intrigue in Saudi Arabia. Lebanon's prime minister resigns. We try to pull back the curtain on what’s really going on in the Middle East.

In this Monday, Oct. 30, 2017 file photo, released by Lebanon's official government photographer Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right, meets with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Dalati Nohra via AP, File)
In this Monday, Oct. 30, 2017 file photo, released by Lebanon's official government photographer Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right, meets with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Dalati Nohra via AP, File)

It’s been a wild set of days for Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.  A Saudi crown prince, cracking down.  Purging princes right and left.  Seizing cash.  Locking up billionaires.  Lebanon’s prime minister, telling his country from Saudi Arabia that he’s resigning.  That he fears for his safety.  Looking like a hostage.  Then coming on TV to say maybe he won’t resign.  Missiles, flying.  Hezbollah, Iran, Saudis circling.  Jared Kushner in town. This hour, On Point:  A purge of princes, and what is going on in the Middle East. --Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Hanin Ghaddar, visiting fellow, Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (@haningdr)

Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi journalist, columnist and author. (@JKhashoggi)

Bernard Haykel, professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University.

From Tom's Reading List:

The Washington Institute: Saudi Arabia's War On Lebanon — "On November 6, Saudi Arabia's minister of Gulf affairs, Thamer al-Sabhan, announced that the Lebanese government, which is dominated by Hezbollah, the Iran-backed political party and militia, would be treated as if it had "declar[ed] war" on Riyadh."

The Washington Post: Saudi Arabia Is Creating A Total Mess In Lebanon — "As if we Arabs need another crisis in our shattered world — but that’s exactly what’s coming after the mysterious resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri from Riyadh last Saturday and declarations from the Saudi royal court that Iran has officially crossed a red line."

Vox: The Mysterious Sudden Resignation Of Lebanon's Prime Minister, Explained — "The mysterious sudden resignation of Lebanon’s prime minister has sparked a political crisis that is escalating longstanding tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran — and raises the real prospect of open warfare between the two Middle Eastern powers."

This program aired on November 15, 2017.

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