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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It is clear that in the emerging cold war between the U.S., on the one hand, and Russia and China on the other, the Iranians have clearly chosen their camp.
The US-Saudi relationship has gone through periods of intense strain before, but in my view the current low point represents a crack but not a rupture.
The protests [in Iran] transcend social sectarian boundaries, bringing together a much broader strata of Iranian society than we have seen in years.
The train has already left the station. No matter what this government [in Iran] gives, it probably won’t be enough to assuage protesters’ grievances at this point.
People in the region ... have seen how poorly the Russian army has performed ... Gulf countries that buy Russian materiel may think twice now.
Installing a monarchy that wasn’t very popular and that was overthrown in 1958 was the ignition for the many problems that the modern Iraqi state has faced.
Israel would like to forge a military alliance with the Gulf Arab monarchies as part of its strategy for checking Iran’s power projection in the region. For Gulf capitals, however, the Israeli ambitions risk too much and offer too little.
Yemen’s six-month truce is up for renewal on 2 October. The UN and external powers should redouble their efforts to forge agreement on an expanded deal. If those look set to fall short, however, they should propose interim arrangements that avert a return to major combat.
The death of Mahsa Amini has outraged citizens throughout Iran, setting off a protest wave. If it wishes for genuine stability, rather than the mirage of social control, Tehran must stop responding with brute force and start addressing the grievances driving people into the streets.
As negotiations between the U.S. and Iran oscillate between conclusion and collapse, what can be done to prevent the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) from definitively sinking? In this Twitter Space, Ali Vaez, Crisis Group’s Iran Project Director, Naysan Rafati, our Iran Senior Analyst, and Ellie Geranmayeh, the Deputy Director of ECFR’s Middle East and North Africa Programme, tackle this question.
Though hope is fading, the U.S. and Iran may still be able to revitalise the 2015 accord on Tehran’s nuclear program. Should they falter, they should pursue more modest interim goals rather than allow the risk of confrontation to grow.
This week on Hold Your Fire! Richard Atwood talks to Crisis Group’s Iraq expert Lahib Higel about the crisis in Iraq, with parties unable to form a government almost a year after elections and the deadliest clashes the Iraqi capital has seen in years erupting in late August.
Demonstrators are occupying parliament in Baghdad, with Iraq’s main political camps deeply divided. The standoff need not turn violent, if the country’s leaders can shift to dialogue with support from foreign partners.
A floating oil storage facility in Yemeni waters is on the verge of breaking or blowing up. Time is running out to raise the remaining $20 million needed for a salvage operation to prevent ecological and economic damage of historic proportions.
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