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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani welcomes Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, Tehran, Iran, Nov. 23, 2015 (AP photo by Ebrahim Noroozi).

For Iran’s Relations Beyond the Middle East, a Moment of Flux

Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016

This past week, Iran satisfied its obligations for implementing the nuclear deal reached last July with world powers, earning it relief from sanctions. The prisoner swap with the United States that followed hinted that a new era of possible cooperation between Washington and Tehran could be in the cards as the result of last year’s hard-earned diplomatic victory. But how relations will unfold, and how they will fare under the next U.S. administration, remain unclear.

Iran’s other relationships are also in flux. Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties with Iran following an attack on its embassy in Tehran during protests over Riyadh’s execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, bringing long-simmering tensions to a head. That increasingly hostile dynamic has affected Iran’s alliances beyond the region. Directly following the Saudi move, Sudan followed suit by severing its ties with Iran, the culmination of what has been a progressive shift over the past two years. Two other Saudi allies, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, also cut diplomatic ties with Iran. ...

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