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Middle East/North Africa Politics Security

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Anglo-Iranian Relations and Hostage Diplomacy

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was detained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in March 2016, marking the start of a five year ordeal which only now seems to have any prospect of ending.

Middle East/North Africa Security

The early dilemmas of Biden’s foreign policy towards the Middle East and the Iranian factor

During his first speech on foreign policy earlier in February, President Biden announced his decision to terminate US support for Saudi Arabia’s military operations in Yemen. Suspending offensive aid for the Saudi-led coalition, the recently-elected President decided to reverse one of the last foreign policy moves of Trump’s administration, by lifting the designation of Yemeni Houthi as a terrorist group.

Latin America Politics

Alex Saab and the State of Corruption in Venezeula

The Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro has been accused of turning a blind eye to or engaging actively in corruption for both the personal enrichment of state officials and as part of sanction-dodging efforts. Among other individuals linked to corruption by the Maduro government, in June 2020 Colombian national Alex Saab was arrested in Cape Verde in connection with an Interpol Red Notice concerning money laundering. Now, 6 months after his arrest, it seems likely that he will be extradited to the US. How significant is Saab to the Maduro government and what impact might his extradition have?

Middle East/North Africa Security

The Clock is Ticking for the Iran Nuclear Deal

Seven days into 2020 it appeared that President Donald Trump had pushed the US and Iran to the brink of war. A few weeks later, an unprecedented global pandemic put a stop to that. Where do Iran and the US stand now, and what does the future hold for their contentious nuclear agreement?

Middle East/North Africa Security

MENA Power Brokers: Esmail Qaani

Under Qaani the Qods Force will continue Iran’s strategy, but their activities are likely to be more careful, restrained and in line with mainstream policy. How will this affect the Middle East?

South and Central Asia The Security Briefing

NATO’s Afghanistan Withdrawal: Regional interests and civil war fears

A deal has been recently struck in US-Taliban peace talks and progress towards long term peace seems increasingly possible. However, with a likely NATO withdrawal and recent election results, there continues to be a substantial risk to the country’s security and the likelihood of descent into civil strife. 

Finance Middle East/North Africa

Saudi Aramco: Risks to Potential Investors

Saudi Aramco is now the world’s largest and most profitable company – valued at $2 trillion company. 1.5% of its stakes went public and are considered an attractive investment. However, multiple risk factors remain.

Middle East/North Africa Security

Will Drones Push the Middle East Past the Point of No Return?

Unmanned aerial systems (UASs) or drones, both armed and unarmed, have altered how states and insurgents conduct warfare in the Middle East.

Middle East/North Africa Security

Houthi threat to Saudi Arabia’s oil industry

The increasing missile, drone, and naval capabilities of the Houthis make the Saudi oil industry vulnerable to attack.

Politics Under The Radar

Sanctions and social media: Civil unrest and Iran-US relations

Recent domestic and international developments have negatively affected the stability of the Iranian regime.