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Geopolitics / Middle East

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…

Does Saudi Arabia Really Fear A Bernie Presidency?

Mar 05, 2020 at 16:47 | Julianne Geiger

Democrat presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders raised eyebrows on the campaign trail when he referred to Saudi Arabia’s leadership as “murderous thugs”, raising the question of just how concerned the…

Coronavirus Hurts Middle East Economies Beyond Oil

Mar 04, 2020 at 15:26 | Tsvetana Paraskova

The Middle East oil exporters are grappling with depressed demand in their key market, China, due to the coronavirus outbreak. The economies of the Arab Gulf countries are feeling the…

This Country Is A Safehaven In An Unstable Middle East

Feb 27, 2020 at 15:18 | Simon Watkins

With a fiscal breakeven oil price of just over US$87 per barrel (pb) of Brent this year, around 85 per cent of its revenues still coming from the hydrocarbons sector,…

What Iran’s Election Result Means For Oil Markets

Feb 24, 2020 at 10:53 | Simon Watkins

Ever since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was agreed in principle in 2015 by Iran and the P5+1 group of nations (U.S., U.K., France, Russia, and China plus…

Russia Is Defeating The U.S. In The Middle East Oil Game

Feb 18, 2020 at 17:34 | Simon Watkins

Historically, Russia goes to great lengths to hide or disguise its strategic intentions but it clearly feels empowered enough in the Middle East to very obviously stake its claim in…

U.S. Set To Extend Iraq Waiver For Energy Imports From Iran

Feb 10, 2020 at 13:00 | Tsvetana Paraskova

The United States is inclined to extend the waiver to Iraq to continue importing electricity and natural gas to Iran, which are vital to Iraq’s energy needs, three senior Iraqi…

The Three Countries Vying For Ultimate Power In The Middle East

Jan 24, 2020 at 17:33 | Yossef Bodansky

Two notable deaths in early January 2020 pushed the greater Middle East to increased tension and instability. There emerges a growing risk, as a result, of a sudden discrete…

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