Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, gave a wide-ranging interview on Saudi TV on Tuesday, touching on his relations with United States President Joe Biden, the Yemeni civil war and Saudi-Iranian relations.
MBS, as the crown prince is known, with whom the White House said it would not speak so long as his father King Salman is on the throne, and whom a US intelligence report released by the president two months ago implicated in the gruesome 2018 murder of a Saudi journalist, insisted Washington is a “strategic partner” of Riyadh.
“We are more than 90% in agreement with the Biden administration when it comes to Saudi and US interests,” the prince said, adding that the two countries are “working to find solutions and understandings” on the remaining less than 10%.
The Saudi leader mentioned his efforts to end Iran’s “negative behavior” regarding its nuclear program and involvement in regional conflicts, noting his country would like to reestablish ties with Tehran. Earlier this month, top Saudi and Iranian officials reportedly met in Iraq for rare face-to-face talks.
The two regional powers are locked in a proxy war in Yemen, where a coalition of states led by Riyadh is battling the Iran-aligned Shiite Houthi movement. The US recently ended its support for offensive operations by the coalition.