Topic:

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Religious Moderation: How Real Is It?

| June 7, 2019

Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is determined to promote an image of himself as a harbinger of Saudi religious moderation, but many observers suspect that the changes he has implemented are only skin-deep. His reforms may turn out to have more to do with public relations than with fundamental change.

The US’s Middle East Strategy Might Be Fraying

| May 21, 2019

Egypt’s withdrawal from the formation of an “Arab NATO” against Iran is a warning that both Israel and the US need to urgently rethink their strategy regarding the Middle East. Putting all its Arab World eggs in the Saudi basket could prove to be one of the more unsound decisions in the annals of American diplomatic history, and one that could profoundly affect Israel if it backfires.

Pakistan on a Tightrope

| May 19, 2019

Pakistan risks falling off a tightrope as it attempts to balance its relations with rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Saudi Gas Export Plan Shines New Light on Efforts to Isolate Iran

| March 15, 2019

Saudi plans to become a major gas exporter within a decade raise questions about what the real goal of the kingdom’s policy, and by extension that of the US, is towards Iran.

How Should the US Handle Saudi Nuclear Power Aspirations?

| February 7, 2019

The US is on the horns of a dilemma regarding Saudi Arabia’s interest in nuclear power. Washington would like to cajole Riyadh into a deal that would strengthen non-proliferation, but the kingdom is well aware of the competitors vying for its business and is not necessarily receptive to such arguments. This is a concern for the US, which does not want a Russian or Chinese nuclear energy market to flourish in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi-UAE Aid Puts Pakistan-Iran Relations on the Spot

| January 29, 2019

Pakistan is stepping through a minefield as it concludes agreements on investment, balance of payments support, and delayed payment oil deliveries with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates worth $13 billion. These deals are likely to spawn growing distrust in its relations with neighboring Iran.

Indian Muslims: A Valuable Prize for Regional Rivals

| January 21, 2019

The hearts and minds of Indian Muslims would be a valuable prize for Saudi Arabia and Turkey as they vie for leadership of the Muslim world. This is particularly true in the wake of the October 2 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, which catapulted the rivalry to center stage.

Saudi Arabia and the West’s Right Wing: A Dubious Alliance

| January 14, 2019

While purporting to be focused on promoting a more tolerant form of Islam, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is instituting reforms that are designed to centralize power around himself. His moves include embracing European and Western far-right groups that are hardly beacons of tolerance and respect.

US Troop Withdrawal from Syria Could Fuel Gulf Assertiveness

| December 30, 2018

President Donald Trump, in shrugging off allegations that Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman may have been responsible for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, described the world as a dangerous place. Gulf leaders are likely to share that perception in response to the president’s seeming unwillingness to fully take their interests into account, particularly in the wake of his announced US troop withdrawals from Syria and Afghanistan. The vacuum created by Trump risks fueling greater Gulf assertiveness, with potentially messy consequences.

Nuclear Energy: Saudi Arabia’s Impending Battle with Washington

| December 17, 2018

While making assurances about solely peaceable nuclear intentions, Saudi Arabia continues to show interest in retaining the option of developing nuclear weapons capabilities – an interest that could put it on a collision course with the US.