Prince Salman’s accession to the throne after the death of Saudi King Abdullah on 23 January 2015 has been a game changer, both domestically and in West Asian politics. Within days, he sidelined rivals within the House of Saud, and took on Iran with a confrontational policy. But two years later, the results of his new strategy disappoint
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By executing an influential Shia cleric among 47 other prisoners, Saudi Arabia has increased the possibility of prolonging conflict in West Asia. The country’s actions have stirred up its differences with Iran, thereby diminishing the possibility of finding political solutions to the civil wars in Syria and Yemen.
On 14 December, Saudi Arabia announced the formation of an anti-terrorism coalition of 34 Islamic countries. But with key potential partners such as Algeria, Lebanon, and Pakistan refusing to join, the hastily-assembled group has put Saudi credibility in the spotlight instead of deflecting western criticism of the kingdom’s inaction against Sunni jihadism
The proxy battle for supremacy between Saudis and Iranians is highlighted by Saudi Arabia bombing Yemen this week. These distorted wars can pull Pakistan into a West Asian identity, amid blood and tears
The last ten years had signalled the Saudi intention of building closer relations with India based on their immense crude oil resources and India’s growing market and skill sets. With a new king on the throne and the on-going turmoil in West Asia it is in New Delhi’s interest to initiate high-level visits with Riyadh as soon as possible
Many Arab Republics are mired in political discord after the departure of the old tyrannical regimes opened up spaces for new struggles. In Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and Sudan, attempts to address the turmoil through constitutional reform are facing challenges. Will a democratic federalism be attained when the battles are done?
The downfall of Egyptian president Mohammad Morsi was partly contributed by those thousands of protesters who disagreed with his view of “Us” and “Them”. Leaders such as Morsi have focused on persecuting those who refuse to share their vision; continuing down this path would have had a negative impact on history
Legal justification and transparency of drone strikes have become a concern for the U.S. In reality, are these targeted killings advancing the strategic goals of U.S. counter-terrorism policy?
Conflict over oil and gas reserves, sectarian rivalries between Shiites and Sunnis and foreign involvement interconnect as sources of instability in the Persian Gulf–Arabian Peninsula.
Iran was delighted by the Arab Spring, thinking it could have a big influence on the new governments' implementation. But fundamentalist Iranian ambitions remain only partially fulfilled.