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  

Saudi Arabia and Iran Compete in the Sahel

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by Javad Heiran-Nia and Somayeh Khomarbaghi  Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirate are supporting the Sahel Joint Military Force, the latest indication of a competition for influence with Iran in West Africa. The force falls under the rubric of… Continue Reading  

Kidnapping Stirs Malaysian Debate about Saudi-Inspired Ultra-Conservatism

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by James M. Dorsey Allegedly kidnapped, forty-three-year old Malaysian activist Amri Che Mat, a foreign exchange trader and mountain climber, has not been heard of since he went missing in November 2016. An inquiry into his disappearance coupled with an assertion… Continue Reading  

Salafi mission calls into question Saudi concept of moderation

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by James M. Dorsey Plans to open a Salafi missionary centre in the Yemeni province of Al Mahrah on the border with Oman and Saudi Arabia raise questions about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s concept of a moderate form of Islam.… Continue Reading  

Iran–On the Brink?

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by Graham Fuller With the emergence of demonstrations and rioting in various Iranian cities earlier this month, Washington’s neoconservatives and interventionist/ imperial-minded “liberals” have been given a new lease on life in promoting their aspirations for “regime change” in Tehran.… Continue Reading