Topic:

Saudi Arabia

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.

US Senate Resolution on Saudi Arabia Could Change Middle East Dynamics

| December 9, 2018

A draft US Senate resolution  portraying Saudi policy as detrimental to US interests and values and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman as “complicit” in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi could, if adopted and implemented, change the dynamics of the region’s politics and create an exit from almost a decade of mayhem, conflict, and bloodshed. It could accomplish this by causing the prince’s close UAE ally, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayed, to reconsider the wisdom of his being so closely associated with Muhammad bin Salman.

Saudi Prince Leaves G20 Confident After Khashoggi Scandal

| December 3, 2018

Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s experience at the G20 summit suggests that he will be able to put the Khashoggi scandal behind him and maintain his position. While Western leaders largely kept their distance, other world leaders, including Vladimir Putin, greeted the prince with great warmth. Muhammad is not completely out of the woods, but he was able to leave the G20 confident that he is not a global pariah.

Israel Should Keep a Low Profile on the Khashoggi Case

| November 26, 2018

An Israeli-Saudi “alliance of convenience” has been developing over the course of many years – but now that the brazen murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has called the US-Saudi relationship into question, Israel needs to be careful how it casts its own relationship with Riyadh in the months ahead.