The new, young crown prince reshaping Saudi Arabia

Saudi King names young son Mohammed bin Salman crown prince strips eldest of title & post

Here's a look at other major royal figures in the history of the ultraconservative Sunni kingdom that's a longtime USA ally and major oil producer.

Even before the royal decree was issued by the king, MBS' plans have resulted in a dramatic shake up of a once predictable and slow-moving country that for decades lagged behind its Gulf Arab neighbours, like Dubai with its glistening skyscrapers and tourist attractions.

King Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, backed by the British against the Ottomans during World War I, became king of Hejaz in 1926 and later changed the name of the kingdom to Saudi Arabia. The king, also known as Ibn Saud in the West, granted oil concession to American companies, launching the close relationship the kingdom enjoys with the United States today.

It suggests the kingdom is set on a path of economic reform and gradual liberalisation.

The newly appointed 31-year-old crown prince will be the first of a new generation of Saudi royals to take power.

In a series of royal decrees, King Salman removed his nephew, Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, from the position.

The shuffle stripped Mohammed bin Nayef of his title as crown prince and interior minister, overseeing security.

The site adds that because the king's son has acquired such a wide portfolio, diplomats nicknamed him "Mr. Everything".

Iran's Interior Ministry said Wednesday that the Saudi government should "compensate" the detainees and "punish the agents of this irresponsible action".

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Mohammed's youth is a novelty for a country that is used to aging leaders - King Salman is 81, and his predecessor King Abdullah died in 2015 aged around 90.

FILE- This 1975 file photo shows a portrait of Saudi Arabia's monarch King Faisal, posed at the royal palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi monarch, who holds near absolute powers, quickly awarded his son expansive powers to the surprise of many within the royal family who are more senior and more experienced than Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS.

Mohammed bin Nayef, 57, had served as crown prince since 2015, taking the post shortly after Salman, his uncle, was crowned.

MbS has adopted an uncompromising approach to regional diplomacy, ruling out engagement with Iran, isolating neighbour Qatar and prosecuting a brutal war in Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians and utterly failed to achieve its military ends.

He also chaired the Council of Economic and Development Affairs which coordinates economic policy, and oversaw a body overseeing state oil giant Saudi Aramco. He became crown prince on Wednesday.

The ruler of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed, also sent a cable to Prince Mohammed, congratulating him on his new positions and wishing the Saudi people the utmost prosperity. He worked closely with Washington after the September 11 attacks, helping to share intelligence to thwart more attacks. He has survived several assassination attempts, including one in 2009 by al-Qaida. Despite his longstanding Washington ties, it was Mohammed bin Salman, who embarked on major overseas visits, including a trip to the White House to meet Trump in March.

Saudi state television aired footage of the two meeting, with the new crown prince kissing Prince Mohammed bin Nayef's hand, then kneeling down in front of him.

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