WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The political purge would give Crown Prince Mohammed far more power to act in a reckless manner and plunge the country into a war with Iran without the traditional checks and balances of the Saudi political system to constrain him, Pierce explained.
"Anyone who pays attention can see that the new coalition of the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, along with their lesser GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] allies, minus Qatar, are vigorously promoting and trying to incite a war with Iran," Pierce said on Monday. "The purge is part of that, and the combination of heightened war risk can’t help but create conditions where oil prices will rise."
Pierce said the US policy under both Trump and his predecessor Barack Obama had been to support Saudi Arabia against Iran.
"This US-led aggressiveness is the cause of the higher prices and the expected outcome of this is war with Iran, something that will also boost prices," Pierce said.
On Saturday, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud issued a decree establishing a new anti-corruption committee in the country chaired by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The committee will investigate corruption cases and is empowered to arrest suspects as well as restrict their movements and freeze their accounts.
Over the weekend, a number of former and incumbent Saudi officials were detained by authorities as part of an anti-corruption purge launched by Riyadh, including 11 princes, four incumbent ministers, and dozens of former senior level officials, local media reported.
Oil prices soared to their highest levels in more than two years after news of the Saudi purge.