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Geopolitics / Middle East

Has Iran Massively Underestimated Joe Biden?

Jan 11, 2021 at 17:45 | Simon Watkins

Iran has been waiting since former U.S. President, Donald Trump, unilaterally pulled his country out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018 and then re-imposed sanctions…

UAE Oil Takes Center Stage In U.S. Pushback Against China

Jan 07, 2021 at 16:36 | Simon Watkins

Abu Dhabi – the oil powerhouse at the centre of the U.S.’s pushback against increasing Chinese influence across the Middle East - last…

UAE Oil Is A Vital Geopolitical Weapon Against China's Middle East Expansion

Dec 03, 2020 at 17:34 | Simon Watkins

The key corporate proxy at the centre of the U.S.’s Middle East pushback against increasing Chinese and Russian influence across the region – the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC)…

Saudi Arabia Says It Foiled Houthi Attack On Oil Facility

Nov 13, 2020 at 09:00 | Tsvetana Paraskova

Saudi Arabia has thwarted a planned attack with explosives against an oil products terminal near the border with Yemen, the Kingdom said early on Friday, adding that the attempted attack…

How Kurdistan Is Taking Advantage Of Iraq’s Oil Crisis

Nov 04, 2020 at 12:59 | Simon Watkins

Iraq is facing a desperate financial situation: obliged to pay billions of dollars in state salaries, pensions, and other disbursements whilst its ability to generate revenue to do so is…

Can Kuwait’s New Ruler Reform The Country?

Oct 05, 2020 at 17:05 | Simon Watkins

Following the death at 91 of Kuwait’s ruler, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, his half-brother, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, aged 83, faces a daunting challenge characterised by…

Why Syria Is A Critical Part Of Russia's Energy Strategy

Sep 21, 2020 at 16:04 | Simon Watkins

Syria is crucial to Russia for three key reasons. First, it is currently the principal Western point of the Shia crescent of power that stretches from Syria and…

Mediterranean Tensions Flare Up As Israel Rehabilitates Pipeline

Sep 15, 2020 at 14:47 | Vanand Meliksetian

The Arab Spring was the start of an ideological conflict between Turkey and the wealthy Arab Gulf nations. Turkish assertiveness is strengthened by an expanding economy and a brand of…

China Looks To Build Espionage Hub In Iran Under 25-Year Deal

Sep 07, 2020 at 17:50 | Simon Watkins

The next phase of the 25-year deal between China and Iran will focus on a large-scale roll-out of electronic espionage and warfare capabilities…

What The UAE-Israel Deal Really Means For The Middle East

Aug 31, 2020 at 17:06 | Simon Watkins

The announcement on 13 August that Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will normalise relations, around the same as Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he…

Iran Seizes Oil Tanker In Strait Of Hormuz

Aug 13, 2020 at 09:00 | Charles Kennedy

Iran reportedly seized a Liberian-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz and then let it go, the AP has reported, quoting a U.S. military official. According to the…

Defiant Erdogan Says Turkey Has Resumed Mediterranean Gas Exploration & Drilling

Aug 10, 2020 at 13:47 | ZeroHedge

While over a week ago it was looking as if Turkey might back down on its ambitious oil and gas exploration aims in the eastern Mediterranean amidst global pressure, especially…

The Forgotten Conflict That Is Threatening Energy Markets

Jul 17, 2020 at 17:34 | Cyril Widdershoven

One of the world’s forgotten conflicts is now making headlines again. In the last week, the military conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia has reignited, with the two nations…

America’s “Caesar” sanctions On Syria Will Damage The Middle East

Jul 10, 2020 at 16:48 | James Durso

In 2003, the red-hot source was “Curveball;” in 2020, its “Caesar.” The U.S. might soon discover if the second time is, in fact, farce

Turkey’s Latest Geopolitical Gamble Could Result In Catastrophe

Jul 03, 2020 at 16:48 | Cyril Widdershoven

The rosy future of the offshore East Mediterranean (East-Med) gas boom is in jeopardy. The current COVID-related economic downturn, combined with the dramatic drop in demand for oil…

UN Report Links Iran To Attacks On Saudi Oil Tankers

Jun 12, 2020 at 15:29 | RFE/RL staff

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has told the Security Council in a report quoted by Reuters that cruise missiles used in attacks on Saudi oil facilities last…

Oil Price War Puts Entire Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia At Risk

May 11, 2020 at 17:03 | Simon Watkins

At no time since Ibn Saud first consolidated his Arabian conquests into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932 has the ruling Saud dynasty faced such an existential threat to…

Russia And China Are Battling For Influence In Oil Rich Iraq

May 05, 2020 at 11:53 | Simon Watkins

With the U.S.’s patience wearing thin on its dealings with neighbouring Iran, endemic corruption still prevalent in both the south of the country and in the northern semi-autonomous…

Could Low Oil Prices Spark A New War In The Middle East?

Apr 24, 2020 at 17:46 | Haley Zaremba

It may seem that the worst-case scenario has already come to pass, as United States crude prices plunged far below zero on Monday, with the West Texas Intermediate…

Oil Smuggling And Politics: Washington’s Patience With Iraq Is Wearing Thin

Apr 08, 2020 at 16:53 | Simon Watkins

Under its effective leader, firebrand ultra-nationalist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, Iraq is theoretically committed to not allowing itself to become overly dependent on any one country. That was the rallying call…

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