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Book Review – ‘Patriotic Ayatollahs: Nationalism in Post-Saddam Iraq’ by Caroleen Sayej (Middle East Centre | Geneive Abdo)

Faced with the perennial question of how democracy or something resembling it could ever come to the Middle East, few would argue for getting clerics more involved in running the state.Read More

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Iraq’s Place in the Saudi Arabian-Iranian Rivalry (The National Interest | Abdo & Maksad)

The skeptics questioning whether Saudi Arabia’s conspicuous overtures during the last year and a half to improve bilateral relations with Iraq will bear fruits, after twenty-five years of estrangement, may now have to reconsider their doubts.Read More

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Iraq Prepares to Evict U.S. Troops (Foreign Policy | Geneive Abdo)

Momentum is building among deputies in the Iraqi parliament to oust U.S. troops entirely from the country—an outcome that would leave Iraq’s political future in the hands of neighboring Iran and leave its citizens more vulnerable to the Islamic State.Read More

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A dangerous miscalculation at the heart of Yemen’s peace consultations (The National | Fatima Alasrar)

Hodeidah, Yemen’s most important port city and the centrepiece of last December’s Stockholm de-escalation agreement between Houthi rebels and Yemen’s internationally recognised government, is imploding.Read More

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Mohammed bin Salman Is Here to Stay (Foreign Policy| Ali Shihabi)

On Oct. 2, 2018, the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.Read More

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Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and their Oil-Exporting Peers: a Comparison

As we watch Venezuela, once dubbed a “terrestrial paradise” by Christopher Columbus, disintegrate, we are reminded that despite their enormous wealth, many of the world’s oil-rich states have delivered very little to their people.Read More

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Why Pakistan? MBS Visit Aims to Check Islamabad’s Burgeoning Ties to Tehran

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s four-day visit to Pakistan, set to begin this Saturday, is meant to reaffirm the importance of the two countries’ strategic partnership.Read More

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Iran Should Be Worried About the Warsaw Summit (National Interest | Geneive Abdo)

The Iranian regime should be worried about the U.S.-led conference on the Middle East in Warsaw that is being held Feb. 13 and 14.Read More

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The Need for Balance in Judging Saudi Arabia and Its Crown Prince

Those who so easily pass judgment on Saudi Arabia and its Crown Prince need to understand the difficulties the kingdom, with a historical experience vastly different from the liberal democracies, faces today in its quest for change.Read More

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Iran’s Battle Over Khamenei’s Successor is Just Getting Started (The National Interest | Geneive Abdo)

As Iran prepares to mark the fortieth anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, the question of who will succeed the ill and aging supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is resurfacing.Read More

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