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The Middle East: China Venturing into the Maelstrom

Chinese President Xi Jingping has effectively acknowledged that, increasingly, China will be unable to remain aloof to multiple crises in the Middle East in his decision to visit the region – at a time that two of its major powers, Saudi Arabia and Iran, are at loggerheads. It was only last year that Xi dropped …

James Dorsey

Saudi Arabia uses football to isolate Iran

  Saudi Arabia is using football and its influence in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to expand its campaign to isolate Iran, complicate Iran’s return to the international fold in the wake of the nuclear agreement, strengthen Iranian hardliners in advance of next month’s crucial elections in the Islamic republic, and deflect attention from mounting …

James Dorsey

Saudi Arabia, a target of hypocrisy and double standards

To my astonishment and dismay, Western powers, human rights groups and international institutions have ganged-up against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia alleging “human rights abuses” over its execution of 47 terrorists, tried and sentenced for their crimes following lengthy transparent trials. Rather than salute the Kingdom for its zero tolerance policy towards terrorists, many of …

Khalaf Al Habtoor

Soccer highlights domestic drivers in Saudi-Iranian dispute

Saudi Arabia and Iran, highlighting the domestic drivers of mounting tension that threaten to deepen and complicate the sectarian and the multiple other regional conflicts, have taken their fierce tit-for-tat battle from the realm of traditional diplomacy to the world of public spectacle. The past few days have seen a dizzying sequence of events that …

James Dorsey

Previous terrorism-related executions in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has a long history of executing Saudi citizens as well as foreigners on terrorism-related acts. However, the recent mass execution has sparked international outrage with voices criticising the Saudi Kingdom and questioning the fairness of the trials. “Some of whom [the 47 executed] were clearly sentenced to death after grossly unfair trials. Carrying …

Salma Abdallah

Saudi Arabia proposes economic reforms

Saudi Arabia has run a massive fiscal deficit in 2015, due to low oil prices. Now the Saudi Finance Ministry has announced plans to reduce subsidies on energy, and investments to try to diversify the economy.

Deutsche Welle