MENA Region

Middle East Gamechanger? Gauging the China-Iran Deal

cc Official website of Ali Khamenei, Supreme leader of Iran, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ali_Khamenei_receives_Xi_Jinping_in_his_house_(7).jpg

Though short on details, the recent China-Iran deal could one day be looked back on as a seminal moment in the geopolitics of the Middle East.

Great Power Competition Comes to the Middle East: Iraq and the China-Iran Agreement

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and State Councilor of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yi Signing the Iran–China 25-year Cooperation Program in Tehran, cc Tansim News, Erfan Kouchari, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Zarif_and_Wang_Yi_Signing_Iran%E2%80%93China_25-year_Cooperation_Program_3.jpg

The recent China-Iran agreement presents Baghdad with a profound geopolitical choice: the United States or China?

Is the US Repeating Old Mistakes in Libya?

cc U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jesse B. Awalt/Released - DefenseImagery.mil, VIRIN 090202-N-0506A-324, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Search&limit=500&offset=0&ns0=1&ns6=1&ns14=1&search=gaddafi&advancedSearch-current={}#/media/File:Muammar_al-Gaddafi,_12th_AU_Summit,_090202-N-0506A-324.jpg

The United States is once again stepping foot into Libyan affairs after years of disregard for the oil-rich country. Will Washington manage to overcome old mistakes and help end Libya’s endless civil war?

Turning Inward: GCC Sovereign Wealth Funds Reinvent Themselves in the COVID Era

Deputy Crown Prince, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad Bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud participates in the Counter-ISIL Ministerial Joint Ministerial Plenary Session, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on July 21, 2016. [State Department Photo/Public Domain], 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

But the path to a post-oil future won’t be easy.

COVID-19 Brewing a Perfect Storm of Political Crisis in Lebanon

cc Flickr, modified, tongeron91https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

How far can Lebanon’s institutions be stretched before they simply collapse? This year could have an answer.

Biden Shows Saudis the Exit in Yemen Civil War

cc Flickr Felton Davis, modified, May 7th - Yemenis walk past rubble after deadly airstrikes in and near the presidential compound, in Sanaa, https://www.flickr.com/photos/felton-nyc/41162497535/in/photolist-x1uAoQ-25Hoyrn-2fBqYWT-278Vcw2-22btvxc-X7Pcmk-TNSbk3-2fWtXKV-yDThYU-2fBqYZD-zAZwCM-zyDgBs-zjj6a1-2eft1zq-2fSxqZd-2fBqYZ8-RR1Ffz-2fBqYY6-278VcuZ-278Vcz8-2jVuzmV-25dmwjx-2jFsuJL-2hna13k

But amid the total humanitarian and strategic disaster of Riyadh’s war policy, it will still be hard to walk through it.

The EU’s New ‘Eastern Question’: Refugees, Gas, and Neo-Ottoman Imperialism

Visit of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Azerbaijan, 2020, wikicommons President.az modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Search&title=Special:Search&redirs=0&search=erdogan&fulltext=Search&fulltext=Advanced+search&ns0=1&ns6=1&ns14=1&advanced=1&searchToken=97hcwm3ixpjnqdm83vmda7cn1#%2Fmedia%2FFile%3ARecep_Tayyip_Erdogan_2020_visit_to_Baku_with_Ilham_Aliyev_11.jpg

The ‘Eastern Question’ has re-emerged to haunt EU policymakers, and a proper answer requires a true understanding of region’s historical specificities.

The Wagner Group: Origins and Early Deployments

cc Kremlin.ru, http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/60797, modified,

First in a two-part series, this backgrounder traces the origins and earliest deployments of Russia’s infamous mercenary outfit: the Wagner Group.

FLASH:IEA Reduces Oil Demand Forecast for 2021

Santa Barbara Channel / Ellwood Oil Field. From left to right: Harmony, Hondo, Heritage., cc Flickr Glenn Beltz, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Weak oil demand is projected to persist through the first half of 2021, compounding divisions within the OPEC+ cartel.

Opportunities and Obstacles in Qatar-Indonesia Relations

cc Flickr Šarūnas Burdulis, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

A desire to diversify export markets has pushed Indonesia and Qatar closer together in recent years, but there’s still a lot of work to do before the bilateral relationship can truly flourish.

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