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Mohammed bin Salman Finds Himself On Shaky Ground Following Oilfield Attacks

Riyadh

Criticism of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman by some of the members of Saudi Arabia’s ruling family as well as other business elites is mounting following the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil assets that took offline 5.7 million barrels of crude oil production per day, exclusive Reuters sources said on Wednesday.

This growing frustration with MbS’ leadership is causing concern among the 10,000-strong Al Saud family that he might not be able “to defend and lead” The Kingdom and its great oil wealth, according to a senior foreign diplomat and multiple other sources that are close to the royals and business elite who spoke to Reuters.

The criticism ranged from thinking MbS has held too tight of a grip on his power, pointing out that he was unable predict the attack on Aramco’s oil infrastructure, and thinking that he has taken too hard of a line on Iran.

And it goes beyond criticism, with some people in the elite circles having “no confidence” in MbS.

The Reuters’ sources were careful to add, however, that there are still those who are loyal to the Crown Prince. “The latest events won’t affect him personally as a potential ruler because he is trying to stop the Iranian expansion in the region. This is a patriotic issue, and so he won’t be in danger, at least as long as the father lives,” one source told Reuters.

Part of Mohammed bin Salman’s aggressive reformist reputation stems from his Vision 2030 plan that hinges on the mega IPO of Saudi Aramco, the success of which will help Saudi Arabia decrease its reliance on oil wealth.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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