MENA Region

Iran’s Regional Grand Project Wobbles

Iran Fuel Protests, cc Fars News Agency, wikicommons, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Search&limit=500&offset=0&ns0=1&ns6=1&ns14=1&search=iran+protest&advancedSearch-current=%7B%7D&searchToken=7b2lb0b650k35fu08drjgghrf#%2Fmedia%2FFile%3A2019_Iranian_fuel_protests_Fars_News_%282%29.jpg

Iran’s region-wide geopolitical project is now imperiled on multiple fronts, including at home.

Finding a Way Forward in Lebanon’s Political Impasse

LebanonFlag, cc craigfinlay, modified, flickr, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Lebanon is now entering the seventh week of a socio-economic crisis that has brought the country to the brink of financial collapse. What comes next, nobody can know with any degree of certainty.

Iran Bends under the Weight of US ‘Maximum Pressure’

A picture from the Tehran protests of 2009, cc Milad Avazbeigi, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tehran_protests_(2).jpg

New nationwide protests are heaping pressure on the Rouhani regime; but all routes to a political solution remain blocked off.

Iraq Protests in Recent Historical Perspective

cc Hassan Majed, modified, CC 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Search&title=Special:Search&redirs=0&search=baghdad+protests&fulltext=Search&fulltext=Advanced+search&ns0=1&ns6=1&ns14=1&advanced=1#/media/File:The_Turkish_restaurant,_Iraqi_protests_2019.jpg

The seeds of the current crisis were planted during the demise of the Hussein regime.

Untangling America’s Middle East Muddle

Last flight at Al Udeid Air Base, cc Flickr U.S. Department of Defense Current Photos, modified, public domain

Faced with resurgent ‘great power’ rivals, the United States must realign its Middle East posture.

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.

Hariri Resignation Plunges Lebanon into the Unknown

Beirut_Protests_2019, cc Shahen Araboghlian, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Search&title=Special:Search&redirs=0&search=beirut+protest&fulltext=Search&fulltext=Advanced+search&ns0=1&ns6=1&ns14=1&advanced=1&searchToken=11jkeigpin9egre7wgrnrog6r#%2Fmedia%2FFile%3ABeirut_Protests_2019.jpg

The political process has ground to a halt in one of the most deadlocked democracies in the world. Default or civil war could be next.

Chabahar Port Update

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chabahar#/media/File:%D8%A8%D9%86%D8%AF%D8%B1-%DA%86%D8%A7%D8%A8%D9%87%D8%A7%D8%B1.jpg

Years removed from an extensive renovation and inaugural shipments, what effect is Chabahar port having on regional trade flows?

FLASH: Saudis Delay Aramco IPO

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

When can the Saudi Aramco IPO expected to get off the ground?

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.

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