The struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia has insinuated itself into nearly every regional issue, fracturing international alliances and sustaining wars across the region, while raising fears of a direct conflict between the two powers. Meanwhile, the region is rife with ongoing conflicts, and the long-simmering dispute between Israel and Palestine continues to flare up periodically.
Iraq’s parliament approved a new government last week, bringing an end to the year-long political deadlock that followed the country’s 2021 parliamentary elections. Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani will head the new government, backed by a coalition dominated by parties representing Iran-backed Shiite militias.
The political impasse in Iraq has reached an ominous phase that underscores the danger of litigating politics through displays of force. And in Lebanon, the many twists and turns in its deadlocked politics demonstrate that negotiation through violence can give way to a sustainable—if bloody—alternative to civic democracy.