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Policy Analysis: Featured

Europe’s Position on Iran Protests Looks Nothing Like a Decade Ago

Fikra Forum

U.S. Adherence to The Nuclear Gold Standard Would Push Saudi Arabia Toward Other Countries

Ahmed Al-Quiasy

Meetings between U.S. Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, and Saudi negotiators have begun paving the way for U.S. companies to sell nuclear technology to the kingdom. The Saudis are likely to reject any deal that does not give them the option of enriching uranium at a low level. So far, however, the U.S. insists that its “gold standard” prohibits this option, as in the “123” deal it reached with the UAE.

Fikra Forum

The Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia: From Then to Now

Mohamed Mokhtar Qandil

Many debates raged on Saudi Arabia’s relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood when King Salman bin Abdulaziz first came to power. Some say that Salman’s ascension represented a revolt against the Brotherhood, while others claimed that some aspects of Brotherhood thought remained influential in the country. In early 2015, the late Saud al-Faisal, as the Kingdom’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, delivered an ambiguous diplomatic address in which he said, “We do not have any problem with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Fikra Forum

Why Mike Pompeo should mediate the conflict between Egypt and Ethiopia

Mahmoud Farouk

Last week the new U.S. secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, chose to visit the Middle East within hours of his appointment. He did not stop in Egypt, but the Middle East that the Trump administration aims to stabilize will not be achieved if Egypt becomes engaged in a war with its southern neighbors. For years, Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia have been facing a regional problem that needs an international mediator. Especially in the time where now even Turkey has started to use this conflict to put pressure on Egypt, by setting up commercial and military outposts on the coasts of neighboring Sudan and Djibouti.

Fikra Forum

Patrick Clawson’s Comment on Firas Elias "Is Iran close to a major war in Syria?"

Patrick Clawson

Firas Elias is precisely correct that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is well poised to play a more prominent role in Iranian politics. And he is unfortunately right that this development may well lead to a war, but that would happen for the exact opposite reasons of what he predicts. The problem is not that “the international and regional situation has become more conducive to a war against Iran,” as he writes, but instead the growing influence in Iran of those who are becoming more and more aggressive.

Fikra Forum

Is Iran close to a major war in Syria?

Firas Elias

The latest exchanges of missiles between Iran and Israel inside Syria are a very vivid symptom – but not the root cause – of the looming specter of large-scale armed conflict in that theater. In fact, quite apart from this week’s U.S. decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, other recent regional and international developments have indicated that conditions are ripe for a war against Iran. Here we must emphasize that the concept of war does not necessarily mean that Iran itself will be hit first with bombs or missiles, but that the mere sense among Iranian political decision-makers that Iran or its regions of influence face imminent conflict is itself leading toward this war. A review of internal and external developments in Iran suggests that something like this will happen.

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