The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer
Ending the Gulf crisis: Natural gas frames future Gulf relations

Ending the Gulf crisis: Natural gas frames future Gulf relations

December 8, 2019

Natural gas could well emerge as the litmus test of how relations among the Gulf’s energy-rich monarchies evolve if and when a Saudi-United Arab Emirates-led alliance and Qatar bury their hatchet.

A microcosm of Iran’s domestic problems, port city bears brunt of crackdown

A microcosm of Iran’s domestic problems, port city bears brunt of crackdown

December 3, 2019

The Iranian port city of Bandar-e-Mahshahr has emerged as the scene of some of the worst violence in Iran’s brutal crackdown on recent anti-government protests.

Located in Iran’s oil-rich Khuzestan province, home to the country’s restive ethnic Arab minority, the protests in Bandar-e-Mahshahr strengthened Iran in its belief that the anti-government outburst was yet another effort to destabilize the Islamic republic by the United States, Saudi Arabia and/or Israel.

Standing up to China: Czech mayor sets a high bar

Standing up to China: Czech mayor sets a high bar

December 2, 2019

A Czech mayor’s refusal to endorse Beijing’s One China policy potentially sets a high bar as Western powers grapple with how to respond to allegations of excessive use of violence by police against Hong Kong protesters and the implications of leaked documents detailing a brutal crackdown in China’s north-western province of Xinjiang.

Global Turmoil: Ethics offer a way out of the crisis

Global Turmoil: Ethics offer a way out of the crisis

November 25, 2019

Rarely is out-of-the-box thinking needed more than in this era of geopolitical, political and economic turmoil.

The stakes couldn't be higher in a world in which civilizationalist leaders risk shepherding in an era of even greater political violence, disenfranchisement and marginalisation, and mass migration.

Mending Gulf fences could weaken support for US sanctions against Iran

Mending Gulf fences could weaken support for US sanctions against Iran

November 23, 2019

Saudi efforts to negotiate an end to the Yemen war in a bid to open a dialogue with Iran could call into question continued Gulf support for US President Donald J. Trump’s maximum pressure campaign against the Islamic republic.

Middle Eastern protests: A tug of war over who has the longer breath

Middle Eastern protests: A tug of war over who has the longer breath

November 19, 2019

Mass anti-government protests in several Arab countries are turning into competitions to determine who has the longer breath, the protesters or the government.

Strategic Black Sea falls by the wayside in impeachment controversy

Strategic Black Sea falls by the wayside in impeachment controversy

November 14, 2019

President Trump’s display of empathy for an illiberal leader at a White House meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was not the only tell-tale sign of the president’s instincts. So was what was not on the two men’s agenda: security in the Black Sea that lies at the crossroads of Russia, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and NATO member Turkey.

Gulf soccer suggests that “The Times They Are a-Changin”

Gulf soccer suggests that “The Times They Are a-Changin”

November 13, 2019

Gulf soccer may be giving Bob Dylan’s 1964 hit, ‘The Times They Are a-Changin,’ a new lease on life.

It’s when not if China’s Middle Eastern tightrope snaps

It’s when not if China’s Middle Eastern tightrope snaps

November 12, 2019

China is manoeuvring to avoid being sucked into the Middle East’s numerous disputes amid mounting debate in Beijing on whether the People’s Republic will be able to remain aloof yet ensure the safety and security of its mushrooming interests and sizeable Diaspora community.

Salvaging international law: The best of bad options

Salvaging international law: The best of bad options

November 8, 2019

These are uncertain times with trade wars, regional conflicts and increased abuse of human and minority rights pockmarking the transition from a unipolar to a multipolar world. What may be potentially the most dangerous casualty of the transition is the abandonment of even a pretence to the adherence to international law.