"With the exception of China, I have not witnessed in my 34-year career in the business a sovereign undergoing such massive economic and social transformation", Younan told Bloomberg. Each is dominated by different branches of Islam - Sunni for Saudi Arabia, Shia for Iran - and they have historically supported opposing powers in regional conflicts.
Most detainees, including global investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, were released after being exonerated or reaching financial settlements with the government, which says it arranged to seize more than $100 billion through such deals.
The kingdom, locked in a tussle for influence with Iran across the Middle East and beyond, is stepping up plans to develop a nuclear energy capability as part of a reform plan led by Prince Mohammed to reduce the economy's dependence on oil.
"He wants to create his own project in the Middle East very much like Hitler, who wanted to expand at the time", Prince Mohammed said.
Prince Mohammed's comments, ahead of a trip to the United States next week, could impact the bid by a consortium that includes Toshiba-owned Westinghouse.
House Intelligence Committee ending Russian Federation probe, says no collusion found
This is something that Democrats have complained about with the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee . And it criticized the Obama administration for "a lackluster pre-election response to Russian active measures ".
The 32-year-old Prince Mohammed said he has referred to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as "the new Hitler" because "he wants to expand".
"Many countries around the world and in Europe did not realize how unsafe Hitler was until what happened", he said.
Like Israeli leaders and many Republicans in the United States, they claimed that the agreement would merely delay Iran's quest for nuclear weapons, while ignoring Iran's other activities, like supporting Shiite militias.
It has never joined the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and has said it would consider inspections and controls under the NPT only if was at peace with its Arab neighbors and Iran.
O'DONNELL: Does Saudi Arabia need nuclear weapons to counter Iran? It remained unclear when work on the new program would begin.
The interview is scheduled to run on CBS's "60 Minutes" show on Sunday, two days before the crown prince's scheduled White House meeting with US President Donald Trump.