- Qatar signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the other Gulf Cooperation Council states to mend a 3 and half year old rift.
- This agreement is more of a ceasefire than a peace agreement, and tensions will continue to simmer.
Category: Middle East
On Iran… “Pride, insecurity, interest, fear, and honor”
– Norman Roule, Former Head of CIA Iran desk
The view from Tehran
Many conflicting reports have emerged of the events leading up to the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh (head of Iran’s nuclear program) over the past 24-hours.… Read the rest
- Biden will remain fundamentally sympathetic to Israel, building on his long record as a friend.
- Saudi Arabia will need to show value to new administration while quietly hedging against a more distant relationship.
- Arab Gulf states have been hit by the combination of low global oil prices and lockdowns.
- The resulting crisis has prompted calls to rethink the centrality of large expatriate worker populations for economies.
● Nominal steps Saudi Arabia took in recent years when it did not need to, such as imposing a Value Added Tax and offering bonds on Saudi public sector firms, will become core parts of government strategy going forward.… Read the rest
● Egypt appears to have suffered fewer Covid-19 infections than many projected.
● The country will face high economic costs across an array of industries because of the pandemic’s effects on the global economy.… Read the rest
● In a week of drawn-out oil production negotiations, Saudi Arabia managed to preserve OPEC+ and seemingly deliver a win to US President Donald Trump.
● Sustained low oil prices will squeeze reform and modernization efforts in Saudi Arabia, but it will not end them.… Read the rest
● Saudi Arabia’s principal financial problem is a collapse in global oil demand due to the Covid-19 crisis.
● The oil price war that has broken out between Russia and Saudi Arabia exacerbates the effects of diminished prices, but an end to that price war will not by itself restore prices, especially because demand is likely to remain slack for months and global storage is filling up.… Read the rest