Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sat down this week for a remarkably candid interview.
“Saudi crown prince says in rare interview ‘every day we get closer’ to normalization with Israel,” Will Weissert reported the good news for the Associated Press this week.
“Saudi Arabia is discussing a major agreement with the United States to normalize relations with Israel in exchange for a U.S. defense pact and aid in developing its own civilian nuclear program,” wrote Weissert in a tone of surprise.
In a rare interview, Saudi Crown Prince and de facto leader Mohammed bin Salman sat down with Fox News’s Bret Baier this week. The U.S. media establishment is still reeling from the revelations contained therein.
The interview was rare, but it wasn’t the first.
“Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Talks to TIME About the Middle East, Saudi Arabia’s Plans, and President Trump,” reported TIME Magazine in 2018.
“Did you order the murder of Jamal Khashoggi?” the Saudi Crown Prince was asked by Norah O’Donnell during an interview in 2019.
“Absolutely not,” replied the Prince without breaking stride. “This was a heinous crime. But I take full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia, especially since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government.”
While the Prince continued to deny any personal involvement with the killing, he also continued to take responsibility — which remains the case today. Iran also remains as stubbornly intractable a problem as ever it was.
“What kind of effect would a war between Saudi Arabia and Iran have on the region?” O’Donnell asked the Prince in 2019.
“The region represents about 30% of the world’s energy supplies, about 20% of global trade passages, and about 4% of the world GDP” Prince bin Salman answered. “Imagine all of these three things stop. This means a total collapse of the global economy, and not just Saudi Arabia or the Middle East countries.”
It wasn’t the last time MBS would field questions about Khashoggi and Iran.
“ABSOLUTE POWER,” declared Graeme Wood for The Atlantic on March 3, 2022. “Asked about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Mohammed bin…