Iran-Saudi Arabia Rivalry

Backgrounder: Iran’s Military Strategy in the Persian Gulf

An S-300 anti-aircraft system missile launcher in a Russian military parade. , modified, cc SLonoed, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Side_view_of_a_S-300_launcher.JPG

Iran’s military strategy calls for asymmetric warfare against a much more powerful foe in the United States, with a focus on increasing the military and economic costs of any potential conflict.

With Aramco IPO, Riyadh Doubles Down on Economic Diversification

Riyadh skyline, modified, MO, public domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Riyadh_Skyline_New.jpg

But geopolitics could get in the way of MBS’ reform program for the Saudi economy.

Saudi Arabia Oil Attack a Geopolitical Game-changer in the Middle East

US Department of State, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Deputy_Crown_Prince_Mohammad_Bin_Salman_bin_Abdulaziz_Al-Saud_Participates_in_the_Counter-ISIL_Ministerial_Plenary_Session_-_Flickr_-_U.S._Department_of_State_(cropped).jpg

Riyadh’s evident vulnerability will lead to a search for new regional allies, and Israel is a surprising possible candidate.

Fallout from Saudi Oil Facility Attack

Khurais_Oil_Processing_Facility,_Saudi_Arabia_by_Planet_Labs, cc Planet Labs Inc., modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Khurais_Oil_Processing_Facility,_Saudi_Arabia_by_Planet_Labs.jpg

Appraising the geopolitical and market fallout from the mysterious attack on Saudi oil facilities earlier this month.

Sudan: The MENA Region’s Next Proxy Conflict?

Sudan protests 2019, CC M. Saleh, modified, Wikicommons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Search&title=Special:Search&redirs=0&search=khartoum+protests&fulltext=Search&fulltext=Advanced+search&ns0=1&ns6=1&ns14=1&advanced=1&searchToken=1a26j4o5p9lklfiy2kh8biz98#%2Fmedia%2FFile%3ASudanese_protestors_chanting.jpg

The political dispute in Sudan is fertile ground for wider geopolitical machinations between the Saudi-UAE and Turkey-Qatar blocs. Is Sudan doomed to become the next Syria?

Will Russia Betray Iran Again?

Presidents Rouhani and Putin, cc Kremlin.ru, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hassan_Rouhani_and_Vladimir_Putin_(1).jpg

If history is any indication, don’t expect Russia to jump to Iran’s assistance in the event of a US military strike.

IMF Surprises with Saudi Deficit Projections

Riyadh Skyline, cc B.alotaby, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Riyadh_Skyline_showing_the_King_Abdullah_Financial_District_(KAFD)_and_the_famous_Kingdom_Tower_.jpg

Should the Saudi government be worried about its growing budget deficit?

US-Iran Tensions: Saudi Sabotage Rattles Oil Markets

TankerSunrise, modified, public domain, https://picryl.com/media/maracaibo-venezuela-sunrise-travel-vacation-faeace

Two instances of sabotage on Saudi oil infrastructure suggest the possibility of Iranian blowback from mounting tensions with the United States.

Backgrounder: Hezbollah

Nasrallah, cc Flickr thierry ehrmann, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Examining Hezbollah, the paramilitary group at the heart of the Saudi-Iran contest for the Middle East.

Five Things Everyone Gets Wrong on Iran

modified, cc 4.0, Meghdad Madadi, Tansim News Agency, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hassan_Rouhani_press_conference_after_his_election_as_president_14.jpg

While it’s true that Iran presides over well-documented human rights abuses, these abuses are often exaggerated to the point of creating a tyrannical mythos that’s completely detached from reality.

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