Washington rebalancing: turbulence In a recent article in the Washington Post Andrew Bacevich of Boston University set out the view that the US is turning away from the Arabs.
The Gulf states, the GCC and America We have described in earlier postings the near-crisis in US/Saudi relations over disagreements on the Arab spring, Egypt, Syria and Iran, and the reaction of other Gulf states to Iran in particular.
Saudi positions: policy and paranoia The impact on Saudi Arabia of developments over Syria and Iran, and Saudi reactions to them, continue to generate heated debate.
The Gulf states and the Iran deal In our posting of 27 November we mentioned that Saudi Arabia’s official response to the Iran interim deal was cautiously positive.
Saudi Arabia: new problems, new attitude Note: the text of the Geneva 24/11 interim deal on Iran is now available, eg at link.
Iran: a thaw Agreement was reached early on 24 November on an interim deal giving Iran limited sanctions relief in return for restrictions on its nuclear programme.
Kuwait; new thinking and the Muslim Brotherhood Recent developments in the region (Egypt, Syria, Iran) have called for new thinking in the Gulf states, most of which are not well adapted for new thinking. Kuwait has a more open political system than most, though it does not habitually aspire to a leading role.
Although the Geneva talks between Iran and the P5 +1 ended without agreement, the main participants have emphasised that it was extremely close.
Bahrain: peaceful confrontation With political violence much reduced, tension in Bahrain largely centres on claims and counterclaims about the extent to which changes recommended by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry have been put into effect, for example police reform including video and audio recording of police interviews.
The Arab spring: what next? Developments in Egypt have driven even Syria off the headlines, but it is clear that the major changes throughout the Middle East which began in Tunisia in 2011 are still working themselves out. Below are three attempts to take a broader view.