Understanding the Saudi succession

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud performs a funeral prayer for Crown Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (Photo: Saudi Press Agency)

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud performs a funeral prayer for Crown Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (Photo: Saudi Press Agency)

It’s not yet clear what the appointment of Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud as crown prince of Saudi Arabia following the death of his brother, Naif, will mean  for the country or the wider gulf region. Prince Salman has a reputation as something of a reformer but is also known to be hawkish on Iran.

The appointment has also shone a spotlight on the kingdom’s labyrinthine rules of succession. In December 2010, following the unusual public announcement  that King Abdullah would be seeking medical treatment in the US, an IISS Strategic Comment explained the 2006 Succession Law, and looked at the issues facing the Saudi monarchy.

Read Saudi-Arabia: testing times ahead


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