Is Saudi Arabia Putting Iraq in Play in Its Rivalry With Iran?

A photo released by the Saudi Press Agency on July 30 shows Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (Saudi Press Agency via AP).
A photo released by the Saudi Press Agency on July 30 shows Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (Saudi Press Agency via AP).

On Monday, a most intriguing photograph started circulating in print and on social media, raising eyebrows, stoking conspiracy theories, and simultaneously stirring worries and anticipation. The picture featured the firebrand Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, dour-faced and black-turbaned, sitting across from a relaxed and smiling Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the young royal who is steadily emerging as the de facto leader of the Sunni kingdom. The picture revealed their unlikely meeting a day earlier in the Saudi city of Jeddah, and it testified to the fact that the two men wanted to make sure their encounter became known […]

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