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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “oil”

The Middle East’s New Battle Lines

Two opposing coalitions in the Middle East define a rivalry that threatens to tear the region apart. As competition for dominance intensifies, the confrontation between Iran’s network of state and non-state actors, and a counter-front of traditional Western allies – centred on Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel – has become the region’s central battle line.

Read Here – European Council On Foreign Relations

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Breaking A Big Deal

We are left with a region where the Iranians and Saudis will have no more opportunities to cooperate to resolve regional crises, starting with those in Syria and Yemen. Which means, that in the near future, the US, the Europeans and other parties involved in the geo-political game of the Middle East will be left with a difficult choice: Military action against Iran and its proxies, or living with a nuclear-armed hegemonic Iran.

Read Here – The Indian Express

Trump Says U.S. Pulling Out Of ‘Rotten’ Nuclear Deal

President Donald Trump said he will impose “the highest level” of economic sanctions on Iran, dealing a potentially fatal blow to the Iran nuclear deal and once again spurning mainstream foreign policy opinion. He insisted that what he called a “decaying and rotten” deal is deeply flawed because it does not permanently cap Iran’s nuclear program or address topics such as Tehran’s ballistic missile program and support of terrorist groups.

Read Here – Politico

Read White House Statement Here

Also Read: The Iran Deal Will Limp Along Without America—For Now

A Saudi Prince’s Quest To Remake The Middle East

As sweeping as M.B.S.’s economic and cultural reforms may be, he has expressed no interest in liberalising the country’s political system. Indeed, the model that seems to best conform to his vision is China, with its dynamic economy, literate population, and authoritarian rule. Experts on the Saudi system, including those who admire M.B.S., say that his efforts are being carried out with one overriding goal: to preserve the House of Saud.

Read Here – The New Yorker

Fresh Prince

At only 32, MBS is already the most powerful figure in contemporary Saudi history, having sidelined other members of the ruling family with the full support of his father, King Salman. His concentrated authority and evident will to shake up the system make it possible for him to do great things. But he has also removed the restraints that have made Saudi foreign and domestic policy cautious, conservative, and ultimately successful amid the crises of the modern Middle East.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

India, Iran And A Divided Middle East

The first presidential visit from Iran since 2003 comes at a complicated moment in Tehran. For the Islamic Republic of Iran, it is the best of times and the worst of times. Iran’s regional influence has never been as expansive as it is today. Yet, there is a huge push back against Tehran from some of its Arab neighbours, Israel and the Trump Administration.

Read Here – The Indian Express

Mohammed Bin Salman: Saudi Arabia’s Great Young Reformer May Struggle To Control The Forces He Has Unleashed

Saudi Arabia is going through more upheaval at the moment than the modern kingdom has ever seen. Not everyone is ready for social change, and members of the House of Saud sidelined by the crown prince’s recent power grab could yet form blocs of opposition against him.

Read Here – Independent

What The Iran Protests Were Not

Recent protests in numerous Iranian cities and towns caught the world by surprise, and embarrassed Iran’s government and ruling political establishment. But the expectation that the protests would escalate into a popular uprising and unravel the Islamic Republic did not come to pass. Iran’s rulers could take heart from that, but they cannot avoid the broader debates about the future of the Iranian economy and politics that the protests have set in motion.

Read Here – The Atlantic

A Spending Spree As A Means Of Fulfilling The Saudi Vision

Saudi Arabia laid out the biggest spending plan in the kingdom’s history in absolute terms when the government published its 2018 budget in late December. After two years of austerity measures and budget deficits following the oil price dive in 2014, the sizeable amount of slated expenditures for this year could seem counterintuitive.

Read Here – Stratfor

Saudi Arabia And Iran’s Rivalry Is Key To The Middle East In 2018

Another turbulent year in the Middle East has drawn to a close, but there will be no respite in 2018 from the regional chaos that is underpinned by the inflamed rivalry of Saudi Arabia and Iran. The young crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has consolidated power, embarking on an unprecedented cultural revolution and economic reforms in Riyadh, but his foreign policy ambitions have yet to bear fruit. Instead they will continue to sap lives and resources in neighbouring Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, unless a political settlement is reached.

Read Here – The Guardian

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