Exiled emirate prince plans coup with British lawyer

Here’s an unlikely advocate in the enforcement of sanctions against Iran: Sheikh Khalid, the former crown prince of the UAE emirate Ras al-Khaimah (RAK). In 2003, his own father and half-brother staged a takeover and exiled him to Muscat, Oman. Now Khalid fears that the new governance of the kingdom — which is located 50 ...

NASSER YOUNES/AFP/Getty Images
NASSER YOUNES/AFP/Getty Images
NASSER YOUNES/AFP/Getty Images

Here's an unlikely advocate in the enforcement of sanctions against Iran: Sheikh Khalid, the former crown prince of the UAE emirate Ras al-Khaimah (RAK). In 2003, his own father and half-brother staged a takeover and exiled him to Muscat, Oman. Now Khalid fears that the new governance of the kingdom -- which is located 50 miles from Iran and, in Khalid's words, "a rogue state and gateway" for Ahmadinedjad's repressive regime -- poses an international security threat, and he has enlisted the help of a British lawyer to plot a bloodless coup.

The Guardian reports that in 2008, Khalid began to re-enter political life and publicly speak out against his royal replacements. He criticized their opposition to women's rights and democracy, their alleged involvement in terrorist plots, and their enabling Iran's nuclear program by offering up "free trade zones" in RAK.  Meanwhile, he was teaming up with an unlikely friend: British lawyer Peter Cathcart, who has spent the last two years lobbying U.S. congressmen for support and financial backing in overthrowing the RAK regime. And it seems the coup may soon come to fruition: in recent weeks, Khalid has met with Abu Dabhi officials and members of the UAE federal government, all of whom would be crucial in facilitating Khalid's rise to power.

It looks like Sex and the City 2 won't be the only upset in the emirates this summer...

Here’s an unlikely advocate in the enforcement of sanctions against Iran: Sheikh Khalid, the former crown prince of the UAE emirate Ras al-Khaimah (RAK). In 2003, his own father and half-brother staged a takeover and exiled him to Muscat, Oman. Now Khalid fears that the new governance of the kingdom — which is located 50 miles from Iran and, in Khalid’s words, "a rogue state and gateway" for Ahmadinedjad’s repressive regime — poses an international security threat, and he has enlisted the help of a British lawyer to plot a bloodless coup.

The Guardian reports that in 2008, Khalid began to re-enter political life and publicly speak out against his royal replacements. He criticized their opposition to women’s rights and democracy, their alleged involvement in terrorist plots, and their enabling Iran’s nuclear program by offering up "free trade zones" in RAK.  Meanwhile, he was teaming up with an unlikely friend: British lawyer Peter Cathcart, who has spent the last two years lobbying U.S. congressmen for support and financial backing in overthrowing the RAK regime. And it seems the coup may soon come to fruition: in recent weeks, Khalid has met with Abu Dabhi officials and members of the UAE federal government, all of whom would be crucial in facilitating Khalid’s rise to power.

It looks like Sex and the City 2 won’t be the only upset in the emirates this summer…

Sylvie Stein is an editorial researcher at Foreign Policy.

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