By Jacob L. Shapiro
After months of relative silence from Saudi Arabia, this was a noisy weekend. For the second time since he was named heir to the throne last June, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced a major Cabinet reshuffle, this time focusing on ministries related to culture, Islamic life and social development. Just one day earlier, French newspaper Le Monde reported that the crown prince had sent a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron threatening to attack Qatar, the target of last year’s Saudi-led blockade, if Doha acquired Russian-made S-400 air defense systems. Last but not least, Israeli news site News1 published an article about Saudi Arabia’s plans to develop nuclear weapons capabilities, potentially with help from Pakistan or Israel.
These stories point to the intense internal and external pressures Saudi Arabia is facing, even with the recent spike in oil prices. The Cabinet reshuffle is further evidence of Mohammed’s attempt to win the loya