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China goes to the Middle East

China goes to the Middle East Categories: China, Iran, Middle East, Saudi Arabia     Author: Michael Singh

Even as the Iran nuclear deal and the potential for rapprochement between Teheran and the West have inspired countless op-eds, China's budding relationship with Iran has gone relatively unremarked upon. But on Jan. 23, Chinese President Xi Jinping became the first world leader to visit Iran after th

Escalating Iran-Saudi Arabia tensions

Escalating Iran-Saudi Arabia tensions Categories: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Updates    

This Update features material on the sharp escalation in what was already a sort of Cold War between Iran and Saudi Arabia in the wake of the Saudi execution of Saudi Shiite religious leader Shaykh Nimr al-Nimr on Jan. 2. It follows up with some analysis of a related development over

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Shatter Zones

Shatter Zones Categories: Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen     Author: Michael J. Totten

The chattering class has spent months bickering about whether or not the United States should sign on to a nuclear deal with Iran. Hardly anyone aside from the Saudis, however, seems to recognise that the Iranian government's ultimate goal is regional hegemony and that its nuclear weapons program is

Iran Deal Empowers Hamas

Iran Deal Empowers Hamas Categories: Iran, Palestinians, Saudi Arabia     Author: Khaled Abu Toameh

Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that has vowed to destroy Israel, is emerging as one of the biggest beneficiaries of the nuclear deal reached in mid-July between Iran and the world powers. Emboldened by the deal, Hamas is now seeking to reap the fruits by tightening its grip on the Gaza St

Riyadh's New Self-Reliance

Riyadh's New Self-Reliance Categories: Middle East, Saudi Arabia     Author: Yehonathan Tommer

Saudi Arabia's military intervention in March against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen - without prior American coordination - indicates a new self-reliant foreign policy by the younger generation of the country's ruling family. They appear determined to curb an Iranian push for Shi'ite hegemon

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Battle Lines

Battle Lines Categories: Iran, Middle East, Saudi Arabia     Author: Jonathan Spyer

In the last decade, the Middle East has been living through a political convulsion of historic proportions. Regimes that once appeared immovable have been destroyed or have receded. New forces have risen up and are making war over the ruins.  

Europa Europa: Wallström in Wonderland

Europa Europa: Wallström in Wonderland Categories: Europe, Middle East, Saudi Arabia     Author: Douglas Davis

Why do bad things happen to good people? It is a question that confounds philosophers and theologians. Now politicians are being confronted with it, too. First among them is Sweden's Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström. Her good intentions have cost Sweden the good will of a large chunk of the

Hard Choices for Hamas

Hard Choices for Hamas Categories: Jordan, Palestinians, Saudi Arabia     Author: Pinhas Inbari

In December 2011, reports from several directions converged to suggest that Hamas is abandoning the sinking ship of Syria: that many senior cadres have already settled in Gaza and only the upper echelon of leadership that bears symbolic meaning still remains in Damascus. By and large those reports a

Europa Europa: The Party is Over Categories: Europe, Israel, Middle East, Saudi Arabia     Author: Douglas Davis

Europe is peering into the abyss. And the crisis is far from over. Indeed, it is likely to intensify in 2012 as financial contagion spreads from Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy to France, which holds large quantities of Italian debt, and then to Britain, which is exposed to substantial F

In the workplace? In a car? Middle East grapples over women's whereabouts

In the workplace? In a car? Middle East grapples over women's whereabouts Categories: Afghanistan/ Pakistan, Gulf states, Islamic Extremism, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Updates     Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

As I wrote earlier this year, a great deal of the problems facing the Arab world as it stumbles towards democracy stem from a conservative culture that is inhibiting female participation in society. Some very illuminative data on this issue is provided by Sara Hamdan in today's International Herald

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