Back in March, Saudi Arabia reportedly offered to join the Abraham Accords in exchange for the transfer of U.S. civil nuclear technology, among other things. Washington is reluctant to do so, as that technology could be used to develop nuclear weapons. But a nuclear-armed Saudi Arabia should not be particularly concerning for Washington.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s foreign policy moves almost always have a domestic angle, and his pivot back to the West since his reelection in May, as well as his return to orthodox economic policies, could all be aimed at one goal: winning favor with urban voters ahead of the 2024 municipal elections.
Over the past two decades, Iran has used its political influence in Baghdad to consolidate a strong position in various sectors of Iraq’s economy. Now competition for investments in Iraq, and the economic influence that goes along with them, has become increasingly intense, with Saudi Arabia and the UAE leading the charge.
President Joe Biden entered office promising to return the U.S. to the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the JCPOA. But doing so has proven tricky for Biden’s administration, in part because of the complex politics surrounding the deal in both Washington and Tehran, but also because of the tense relations between the two countries, which soured significantly under Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump.
Israel’s military operations in the West Bank have strengthened popular resistance and energized Palestinian armed groups, and last week’s invasion of Jenin’s refugee camp marked another dangerous escalation. With increasing numbers of Palestinians supporting armed resistance, a new uprising against Israel seems increasingly likely.
There is a general consensus in Washington that the Abraham Accords—the series of normalization agreements between Israel and Arab countries launched in 2020—have been an overwhelming success and that expanding them to include Saudi Arabia will only increase their benefits. That might be an overly rosy assessment.
The Syrian civil war that has decimated the country for more than decade, provoking a regional humanitarian crisis and drawing in actors ranging from the United States to Russia, has been drawing inexorably to a conclusion for years now. President Bashar al-Assad, with the backing of Iran and Russia, has emerged militarily victorious from the conflict, which began after his government violently repressed civilian protests in 2011. But is the crisis in Syria really over?
Lebanon’s financial crisis, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Beirut Port explosion, has pushed the country into a slow-burning collapse. Now, given Lebanon’s sectarian political system and history of internal conflict, the state’s inability to properly fund its armed forces could result in a rapid deterioration of security.
After more than four decades of strained relations, Egypt and Iran have reportedly been pursuing mediation efforts for months. Several Iranian officials have publicly endorsed these efforts to end one of the Middle East’s longest-running but often-neglected feuds. For its part, Cairo has maintained a cautious stance on the issue.