Topic:

Saudi Arabia

Regional Players Maneuver to Reengineer the Israeli-Palestinian Landscape

| September 2, 2018

A possible ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, may be about more than ending the ongoing, escalating violence that threatens to spark yet another Gaza war. It could also be an attempt to pave the way for the return of Muhammad Dahlan as successor to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Amid Ethnic Protests, Iran Warns of Foreign Meddling

| August 26, 2018

Iran has raised the specter of a US-Saudi effort to destabilize the country by exploiting economic grievances against the backdrop of circumstantial evidence that Washington and Riyadh are playing with scenarios for stirring unrest among the Islamic Republic’s ethnic minorities.

Russian Hacking in the US and the Gulf

| July 23, 2018

The covert cyberwar that helped spark the 13-month-old Gulf crisis, which pits a Saudi-United Arab Emirates-led alliance against Qatar, may have just gotten murkier with the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence agents by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Saudi Arabia and Israel: Know Thine Enemy

| July 20, 2018

Ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel have reached new heights in the past two years, culminating in a recent report that a meeting had taken place between Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israelis should exercise caution, however, before they read too much into this relationship. Riyadh continues to foment hatred of Israel at home.

Saudi Religious Diplomacy Targets Jerusalem

| July 8, 2018

A United Arab Emirates-backed Saudi effort to wrest control from Jordan of Islam’s holy places in Jerusalem signals a sharper, more overt edge to Saudi religious diplomacy. The kingdom’s quest for regional hegemony risks deepening divides in the Muslim world.

The 2018 World Cup Could Become the Middle East’s Latest Battlefield

| June 13, 2018

The simultaneous presence in Russia of the Saudi and Iranian teams for the 2018 World Cup is likely to shine a spotlight on the covert wars between Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Iran as well as on a related dispute over 2022 World Cup host Qatar, which did not qualify for this year’s tournament. Tensions will be present even if the kingdom and the Islamic Republic fail to meet face to face on the pitch.

Riyadh’s Missile Defense Systems: Strategic Opportunities

| May 18, 2018

Saudi Arabia needs missile defense systems to protect its territory from adversaries. While the US is the obvious choice as a supplier, Russia and Israel are also in the running.

Saudi-Moroccan Soccer Spat Symbolizes the New Arab Politics

| May 17, 2018

The spat over Saudi Arabia’s refusal to support a Moroccan bid for hosting rights of the 2026 World Cup tells the tale of the rise of individual country nationalism at the expense of Arab solidarity, Saudi determination to safeguard its alliance with the US at any cost, and creeping Saudi and UAE efforts to strong-arm countries into supporting their 11-month-old diplomatic and economic boycott of Qatar.

Natural Gas: An Underrated Driver of Saudi Hostility Towards Iran and Qatar

| April 25, 2018

Debilitating hostility between Saudi Arabia and Iran is about lots of things, not least who will have the upper hand in a swath of land stretching from Central Asia to the Atlantic coast of Africa. While attention is focused on ensuring that continued containment of Iran ensures that Saudi Arabia has a leg up, geopolitics is but one side of the equation. Natural gas is the other.

Saudi Moderation? Prince Muhammad Is on Shaky Ground

| April 12, 2018

Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman has dazzled international media and public opinion by lifting some restrictions on women’s rights and holding out hope for the abolishment of others, vowing to return the kingdom to a vague form of moderate Islam that many believe is defined by the social reforms he has already implemented, and curbing the powers of the country’s ultra-conservative leadership. But his top-down approach to social change, which brushes aside Saudi history, rests on shaky ground.