South Asia Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Barbara Slavin writes for Al Monitor on the desire of Saudi Arabia to take more of leadership role in the Middle East:

A former commander in the Saudi navy and expert in special operations said Oct. 6 that Saudi forces have captured Iranian military officers and Hezbollah members in Yemen despite Iran’s claims that it has not intervened militarily on the side of Houthi rebels.

Prince Sultan bin Khalid Al-Faisal, a grandson of the late Saudi King Faisal and a nephew of the kingdom’s recently deceased longtime foreign minister, Saud al-Faisal, told an audience on Capitol Hill that Saudi Arabia is prepared to lead the Middle East against a host of threats, including “increasing Iranian incursion into other states’ affairs” and the turmoil that has followed the so-called Arab Spring.

Sultan, 48, who recently retired from active duty after 20 years in the Saudi military, said he was not speaking on behalf of the Saudi government. But his comments echoed accusations by Saudi officials that Iran is actively intervening in conflicts in Yemen and other Arab countries.

Read the full article here.

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