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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Iranian Al-Alam TV Highlights `Conflict` Within Saudi Ruling Family

Al-Alam Television
Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Crown Prince Salman bin Abdel-Aziz (Left) and Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz
Tehran Al-Alam Television in Arabic at 1128 GMT on 20 June reported that Saudi Prince Talal Ibn Abd-al-Aziz has “warned of the collapse of the Kingdom as happened in the Soviet Union.” Al-Alam said Prince Talal had “reiterated his support for Arab monarchies becoming constitutional monarchies.”

The prince reportedly called for the need to “elect a parliament which will draft legislations and control” the government.

The prince was quoted as saying that the Allegiance Commission (Hay`at al-Bay`ah -- established by King Abdallah in October 2006 to be in charge of choosing the king and the crown prince), of which he is one of the main members, was “dead since Prince Nayif became the crown prince.” He said the commission had not been called to meet for “consultation on the appointment of Prince Salman to replace Nayif, as the commission speculates.”

Al-Alam then quoted Saudi rights activist Muhammad Fahd al-Qahtani as saying that the public prosecutor had levelled several accusations against him, including referring to the regime “which veils itself with religion and referring to the justice system as oppressive.”

Al-Qahtani reportedly accused the Saudi Interior Ministry of “leading a repressive campaign to terrorize human rights activists and to silence those who call for political reform.”

Al-Alam then interviewed Saudi researcher in strategy Fu`ad Ibrahim, via satellite in Beirut, who said the statements made by Prince Talal “are not the first and, perhaps, will not be the last.” He accused the authorities of overlooking the Allegiance Commission in “settling a problem and a conflict within the ruling family, when King Abdallah appointed Prince Salman.” He said it was King Abdallah who established the Allegiance Commission and it was him who overlooked its authority.

Ibrahim said he hoped that Prince Salman would “not retract his statements as happened in the past.” He said he believed that Prince Talal`s reaction was for personal interests as perhaps he “felt that he was deprived of his right over this issue and that he has the right to have his place as a challenger.”

Ibrahim admitted that Prince Talal had advocated reforms “for decades as he revealed in his book a Message to a Citizen and in several statements.”

He expected change to take place as a result of people`s demands for reform. He said he hoped that Prince Talal would be able to convey a message to the ruling family on the need to listen to popular demands for reform.

Ibrahim accused the ruling family of “failing to understand its people,” and said the overwhelming majority of Saudis wanted a “radical and real change.”

He said no Saudi relies on the ruling family to introduce reforms: “I think it is up to the people to lead the process of reform. We trust neither the king nor the princes. They are all reactionaries who were brought up in palaces and, therefore, they have no vision to introduce reforms.”

He dismissed the idea of categorizing the princes into liberals and conservative: “The only choice is for this people to bring about radical and revolutionary change in this country.”

(Description of Source: Tehran Al-Alam Television in Arabic -- 24-hour Arabic news channel, targeting a pan-Arab audience, of Iranian state-run television, officially controlled by the office of the supreme leader)

© Compiled and distributed by NTISUS Dept. of Commerce. All rights reserved.


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