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Violence and mistrust jeopardize ceasefire at Yemeni ports (Axios | Fatima Alasrar)

A dispute over Houthi withdrawals from critical ports in Yemen is threatening the success of a deal negotiated late last year with the country's internationally recognized government.Read More

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Gulf Military Tensions and Oil Supply Security

Oil prices are already up after Washington’s decision last month not to renew Iran sanction waivers and amid signs that few if any shipments are leaving Iranian ports.Read More

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Gender quotas a solution to feminising senior roles in Saudi government (The Arab Weekly | Najah Al-Otaibi)

The empowerment of women in Saudi Arabia appears to be a classic case of two steps forward, one step back.Read More

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Iran could step out of nuclear deal, leaving West little leverage (Axios | Geneive Abdo)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is expected to announce Wednesday that Tehran may withdraw in whole or in part from the 2015 nuclear deal, potentially by resuming production of high-grade centrifuges for nuclear fuel and limiting inspections of nuclear facilities.Read More

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Evidence Trump’s Iran policy is working (New York Daily News | Abdo & Maksad)

The familiar mantra is getting louder from Iran’s Western apologists, who say President Trump’s sanctions policy is counterproductive, probably because the opposite is true: There is growing evidence that Iran is cash-poor and its Middle East patrons are suffering.Read More

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Don’t Judge Saudi Economic Reforms by Short-Term Results

Last Thursday, April 25, was the three-year anniversary of Vision 2030. When it was launched, the immediate goal of Saudi Arabia’s blueprint for economic transformation was to enact necessary, and inevitably painful, structural reforms to Saudi Arabia’s economy and labor...Read More

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Saudi oil boost to help Trump on Iran won’t kill OPEC–Russia (Axios | Phillip Cornell)

The announcement that the U.S. will not extend waivers for Iran oil export sanctions beyond May 2 sent oil prices up, though President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signaled that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates would...Read More

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Riyadh May Have Unleashed More Change Than It Can Handle (Foreign Policy | Maksad)

A spring breeze blew through Riyadh’s Tahlia Street, a main thoroughfare in the Saudi capital packed with young Saudis watching soccer in outdoor cafes.Read More

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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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