Biden’s Dithering in the Middle East Is Forcing Old Enemies to Mend Broken Bridges

Biden’s Dithering in the Middle East Is Forcing Old Enemies to Mend Broken Bridges

In recent weeks, Arab countries, as well as Iran and Turkey have all been working out how they can move forward and get along with each other, all due to “sleepy Joe” Biden being asleep at the wheel. Where’s all this heading? In recent weeks, Arab countries, as well as Iran and Turkey have all been…

Can We Expect Saudi Arabia and Israel Normalizing their Relations in the Near Future?

Can We Expect Saudi Arabia and Israel Normalizing their Relations in the Near Future?

After Israel signed the Abraham Accords in 2020 to normalize relations with the UAE and Bahrain, and then with Morocco, whether Saudi Arabia will be next in line in this process is being actively discussed in the United States, Israel, and the Middle East in general. The intensity of such discussions increased as the Saudi…

Are Arab Militias Losing Their Usefulness for Iran?

Are Arab Militias Losing Their Usefulness for Iran?

Iranian support for Arab militias has long threatened Iran’s detractors, unable to develop an effective counterstrategy. Now, the tide may be turning. A string of events suggests that the usefulness of at least some of the militias in Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, and Palestine is waning as their popularity diminishes and relations with Iran encounter headwinds. The…

Christmas Arrives in Saudi Arabia as Kingdom Plays Catch-Up in Religious Soft Power Rivalry

Christmas Arrives in Saudi Arabia as Kingdom Plays Catch-Up in Religious Soft Power Rivalry

Long banned, Christmas has finally, at least tacitly, arrived in Saudi Arabia; just don’t use the name in marketing or be ostentatious about your tree. Coffeeshops serving beverages in red cups with snowflakes on them are ok. So is the sale of soap bars named ‘Tis the Season and Vanilla Bean Noel. Christmas trees that…

Qatar World Cup Sparks Culture Controversies

Qatar World Cup Sparks Culture Controversies

Footballers with diametrically opposed views on homosexuality and alcohol consumption have sparked heated controversy about Islamic mores and human and workers’ rights in Qatar’s final stretch in the run-up for next year’s FIFA World Cup. Two things stand out in the controversy beyond the specific arguments put forward by opposing camps. First, some fault lines…

Playing Cat and Mouse: UAE Energy Company Agrees to Build Power Plants in Iran

Playing Cat and Mouse: UAE Energy Company Agrees to Build Power Plants in Iran

Increasingly, compliance with US sanctions against Iran could emerge as a litmus test of the United Arab Emirates’ close ties to the United States. At the sharp edge of a potential rift between the allies is a reportedly recently concluded agreement by a private UAE company to build gas-fired thermal, solar, and wind power plants…