On 10 March, prodded by China, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to reestablish diplomatic relations within two months, after seven years of severed ties. In this Q&A, Crisis Group experts Dina Esfandiary and Anna Jacobs look at the emerging rapprochement.
Democratic Republic of Congo
We can see a de-escalation in the regional layer of the [Saudi-Iranian] conflict. It is a multi-layered conflict, with domestic and regional causes, not just a proxy war
If it wasn't because of Mahsa Amini's tragic death, there would have been another trigger. There's just so much pent up frustration within the Iranian society.
The UAE has, since 2021, embarked on a policy of diminishing tensions with other countries in the region, and normalizing with Assad is part of that.
These protests [in Iran] are primarily driven by a broadly shared sense of nationalism, not separatism.
The [Iranian] hardliners seem to differ only in how harsh a crackdown they seek. But there are no cracks in the edifice around the supreme leader.
The main risk is that if the theocracy [in Iran] proves incapable of reining in the protests, the Revolutionary Guards might push the clerics aside and take over.
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood is joined by Ali Vaez, Crisis Group’s Iran director, to discuss the China-brokered Saudi-Iranian deal, Iran's evolving foreign relations and its fast advancing nuclear program.
The architects of the 2003 invasion of Iraq had grand visions of transforming the Middle East in favour of U.S. interests. Two decades later, it is clear that the venture was a failure not just in that respect, but in most others as well.
Iraq has a new government after months of delay, but various challenges to stability persist. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2023, Crisis Group explains how the EU and its member states can help support necessary reforms.
Dialogue efforts in the Gulf have stalled amid rising tensions. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2023, Crisis Group explains how the EU and its member states can help revive Saudi-Iranian and other talks.
After nearly eight years of war in Yemen, talks are under way between the Huthi rebels and Saudi Arabia. Yet, by themselves, these discussions cannot bring hostilities to a close. The UN should begin laying the groundwork for negotiations that include all the conflict parties.
Washington Can Help Broker a Lasting Peace
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood speaks with Crisis Group’s Middle East experts Joost Hiltermann and Dina Esfandiary about the World Cup in Qatar, regional politics and friction between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.
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