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In Lebanon, Saudi Arabia Attempts the Impossible

Nov 16, 2017 | 17:19 GMT
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a meeting with Lebanon's Christian Maronite patriarch on Nov. 14, 2017. Lately, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has amped up attempts to challenge the regional influence of Iran, hoping to reassert control over areas that he views as Saudi Arabia's rightful domain.

(FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia has recently undertaken the mammoth task of rewriting its domestic economic rulebook, but the country's external ambitions are equally as bold. The government in Riyadh has long seen itself as a representative of broader Sunni and Arab interests in the Middle East. Lately, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has amped up attempts to challenge Iran's regional influence, hoping to reassert control over areas that he views as Saudi Arabia's rightful domain. This strategy has manifested on proxy battlegrounds in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and, most recently, in Lebanon. But despite Saudi Arabia's efforts, the kingdom lacks the political and security inroads of its competitor, and it is far more likely to fall flat in Lebanon than it is to successfully curb Iran's influence....

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