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Fikra Forum

Fikra Forum

خلق الحوار. التأثير على السياسة.

Generating Dialogue. Impacting Policy.

Fikra Forum

An Iranian Land Bridge Is Not the End of the World

Omar Al-Nidawi

Fear that Iran is working to build a bridge to the Mediterranean as a path to regional hegemony is hanging over U.S. military thinking and actions in Iraq and Syria. Allowing this suspicion to drive strategy could drag America into an unpredictable conflict that may continue long after the Islamic State is gone.

UAE Public Overwhelmingly Backs Tough Line On Iran – But Not On Qatar or Muslim Brotherhood

David Pollock

As President Trump unveils his revised U.S. strategy to contain Iran, surveys reveal that key Arab publics in the region share his antipathy toward Tehran. Previously reported polls from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and even Qatar, sometimes depicted as pro-Iranian, demonstrated solid majorities in each country with unfavorable attitudes toward Iran’s regional role. Now a rare independent survey of United Arab Emirates citizens shows that they too overwhelmingly agree -- by a margin of 86 to 11 percent -- with their government’s negative view of current Iranian policies in the region.

Fikra Forum

The Kurdish Challenge to U.S. Strategy in Iraq

Zmkan A. Saleem

The current U.S. administration sees Iran and its rising political clout in Iraq and beyond as a grave threat to its own interests and those of its allies in the Middle East. As a result, Washington has pursued a political strategy that centers on limiting Iran’s influence in Iraq. To realize this strategy, the U.S. government has extended its diplomatic support to Haider al-Abadi, Iraq’s current Shia Prime Minister. Unlike his predecessor, Abadi has demonstrated willingness to diverge from the Iranian strategy in Iraq and therefore will continue receiving American support, which could help him secure a second term in office during next year’s general elections.

Fikra Forum

Tattoo Sectarianism

Hala Nasrallah

There is not a war in the world that does not bring misfortune. Even if Hezbollah wins the Syrian war, sharp divisions among the Lebanese Shia will remain. The war has exacerbated the phenomenon of sectarianism in a variety of ways. Day after day, the region’s poor become poorer, while the middle class make profitable investments.