Trump’s Jerusalem Decision and the Saudi-Iranian Rivalry

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by Giorgio Cafiero It is too early to assess the long-term impact of Donald Trump’s incendiary decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and upend US foreign policy by moving Washington’s embassy. Nonetheless, one close US ally—Saudi Arabia—may pay a… Continue Reading  

Doha and Abu Dhabi’s Incompatible Visions for the Arab World

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by Giorgio Cafiero When Gamal Abdel Nasser’s secular Arab nationalist regime began purging Egypt of Muslim Brotherhood members during the 1950s and 1960s, many of these Islamists relocated to the Arab Persian Gulf monarchies. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—a… Continue Reading  

Kuwait and Kurdish Separatism

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by Giorgio Cafiero and Jesse Schatz The unresolved Kurdish question remains a highly influential dynamic in the Middle East’s geopolitical order. Recent developments in Iraqi and Syrian Kurdistan are significantly contributing to regional realignments involving Iran and Turkey—both heavily invested… Continue Reading  

The Khuzestan Factor in Saudi-Iran Relations

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by Giorgio Cafiero and Theodore Karasik Since 1979, Iran’s regime has sought to champion itself as a defender of oppressed Shi’ite Arabs across the Middle East. Unsurprisingly, however, one area of the Arab world where Tehran does not promote marginalized… Continue Reading  

Can Qatar Hedge Its Bets on Security Guarantors?

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by Matthew Hedges and Giorgio Cafiero Saddam Hussein’s invasion and occupation of Kuwait in 1990/1991 taught Qatar that its alliance with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)’s powerhouse—Saudi Arabia—was an insufficient guarantee of security. One of Doha’s key takeaways from the… Continue Reading