Saudi royal family members and other officials pledge allegiance to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. AFP
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Saudi Arabia's new crown prince and likely next king shares U.S. President Donald Trump's hawkish view of Iran, but a more confrontational approach toward Tehran carries a risk of escalation in an unstable region, current and former U.S. officials said. Iran will almost certainly respond to a more aggressive posture by the United States and its chief Sunni Arab ally in battlefields where Riyadh and Tehran are engaged in a regional tussle for influence.However, that could have unintended consequences, some current and former U.S. administration officials said.The greatest danger for the Trump administration, a longtime U.S. government expert on Middle East affairs said, was for the United States to be dragged deeper into the Sunni-Shiite conflict playing out across the Middle East, a danger that could be compounded by Trump's delegation of responsibility for military decisions to the Pentagon.U.S. military jets twice this month shot down Iranian-made drones threatening U.S. and coalition forces in southeastern Syria.Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, had dinner with MbS when the U.S. president visited Riyadh last month, the first stop on Trump's maiden international visit.
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