Saudi Arabia Versus Iran on the Football Pitch

football2

by James M. Dorsey Saudi Arabia’s bitter rivalry with Iran has spilled onto Asian soccer pitches with the newly created South West Asian Football Federation (SWAFF) reflecting the kingdom’s bid for regional hegemony, including domination of soccer. Saudi Arabia’s most recent victory… Continue Reading  

May 12: A Potentially Future-Shaping Day for the Middle East

Haider al-Abadi (Joint Chiefs of Staff via Flickr)

by James M. Dorsey With President Donald J. Trump scheduled to announce whether he will uphold the international community’s nuclear agreement on Iran and Iraqi elections slated for the same day, May 12 is gearing up to be a day that could shape the… Continue Reading  

Astronomy: The Outer Frontier of Saudi Liberalization

Richard Branson

by James M. Dorsey Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s investment of $1 billion and option to pump a further $480 million into Richard Branson’s ventures in space, confirmed during the prince’s recent visit to the United States, was more than… Continue Reading  

Bangladesh Looks to Saudi Arabia in a Twist of Irony

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman

by James M. Dorsey Bangladesh, in a twist of irony, is looking to Saudi Arabia to fund a $ 1 billion plan to build hundreds of mosques and religious centres to counter militant Islam that for much of the past… Continue Reading  

Turning Qatar into an Island: Saudi cuts off its nose to spite its face

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman meeting with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad in 2016 (SPA)

by James M. Dorsey There’s a cutting-off-the-nose-to-spite-the face aspect to a Saudi plan to turn Qatar into an island by digging a 60-kilometre ocean channel through the two countries’ land border that would accommodate a nuclear waste heap as well… Continue Reading