Saudi Prince Mohammed’s Achilles Heel

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by James M. Dorsey Emboldened by perceived White House support, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman appears to have stepped up his risky, so far faltering effort to counter Iranian influence in the Middle East. The kingdom, despite Prime Minister Saad… Continue Reading  

Baghdad-Riyadh Rapprochement?

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by Maya Yang In late July, the Iraqi Shi’ite cleric and leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, paid an official visit to Saudi Arabia for the first time in 11 years. Sadr’s visit was preceded by the visit of… Continue Reading  

Trump in Riyadh: More Style Than Substance     

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by Thomas W. Lippman Any evaluation of President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia must deal with two separate questions: how did he perform, and what did accomplish? On the first, he did well. His meetings with the Saudis and leaders… Continue Reading  

Why Has Tehran Allowed Russian Bombers to Use an Iranian Base?

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by Mark N. Katz In a highly dramatic development, Russian bombers have begun using an Iranian base for bombing missions over Syria. Why Moscow would want to do this is clear: flight time to Syria is much shorter from northwestern Iran… Continue Reading  

Is Saudi Arabia Really Inviting Russia to Play a Bigger Role in the Middle East?

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by Mark N. Katz Much attention was generated by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir’s interview with politico.eu. The minister appeared to offer Russia an economic lifeline from Western sanctions through economic access to the Gulf Cooperation Council—the grouping of the… Continue Reading