The emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, recently became the first head of state to visit Gaza since it came under the control of Hamas in 2007. In an email interview, Simon Henderson, director of the Gulf and Energy Policy Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, discussed the Qatari leader’s visit. WPR: What was the emir of Qatar hoping to achieve by the visit? Simon Henderson: It is not clear. Officially, Sheik Hamad was showing support for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Unofficially, his principal motives seem to have been to project Qatar’s growing […]

Sudan’s role in the Iran-Israel conflict made headlines over the past week after a suspected Israeli airstrike on a munitions factory in Khartoum, Sudan was closely followed by a visit from two Iranian warships to Port Sudan. Katherine Zimmerman, the Gulf of Aden team leader for the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project, told Trend Lines that Sudan plays a key role in Iran’s regional strategy, and the relationship is mutually beneficial. “Sudan has served as Iran’s toehold on the African continent and has provided sanctuary to Iranian proxy groups, as well as al-Qaida operatives, and serves as a key […]

China unveiled new nuclear safety and development plans last week, following a 20-month hold on approving new reactors in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster. In an email interview, Yun Zhou, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard University Belfer Center’s Project on Managing the Atom and International Security Program, discussed China’s nuclear energy program. WPR: What is the current state of China’s existing nuclear reactors in terms of quality and safety? Yun Zhou: China currently has 15 reactor units in operation and 26 units under construction. The first wave of nuclear reactors was mainly based on foreign designs, […]

On Monday, Musallam al-Barrak, a prominent opposition leader in Kuwait, was arrested after making comments critical of Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, ruler of the Persian Gulf state. The arrest comes against a backdrop of heightened tensions in Kuwait. The Arab Spring uprisings have worsened relations between Kuwait’s ruling family and the elected parliament, and in recent weeks a set of electoral reforms expected to diminish the power of the opposition has been met with violent protests. Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, a research fellow and Kuwait expert at the London School of Economics, told Trend Lines that al-Barrak’s arrest threatens to […]

Showing 18 - 21 of 21First 1 2