The Russian invasion shows how the relationship between the United States and the UAE is changing—but also how it will remain the same.
Dina Esfandiary is a senior advisor in the Middle East and North Africa department of the International Crisis Group. Previously, she was a fellow in the Middle East department of The Century Foundation, an International Security Program research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and an adjunct fellow in the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Middle East Program. She holds a Ph.D. from the War Studies department at King’s College London and master’s degrees from King’s College London and the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva.
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Editor’s Note: The Iran-Saudi rivalry has fostered instability throughout the Middle East, with neither side likely to emerge triumphant. This rivalry increases bloodshed in the region and hinders U.S. attempts to secure its interests. Ariane Tabatabai of Georgetown and Dina Esfandiary of King's College assess the problems caused by the Iran-Saudi rivalry and argue that dialogue now is both possible and necessary.
Editor’s Note: Of all the many uncertainties about Trump's foreign policy, the question of Iran looms among the largest. The Obama administration moved U.S.-Iran relations from abysmal to bad, and both Republicans and Democrats heavily criticized the Iran nuclear deal, the most important element of this limited rapprochement. Yet Iran is an important player in the region, and the Trump administration must carefully consider their first step if they seek to confront Tehran or continue limited cooperation.
Editor's Note: The U.S. struggle against the Islamic State is hamstrung by too many enemies and too few allies. Not only is the United States fighting the Islamic State, but it also opposes the Syrian regime, Lebanese Hizballah, and Iran, among other forces. Ariane Tabatabai of Georgetown and Dina Esfandiary of King's College argue that U.S. policy is at least partly misguided. They contend that Iran can and should be a major ally in the struggle against the Islamic State.
Editor's Note: The Saudi-Iranian rivalry has long been a driver of instability and extremism in the Middle East, and this tension grew even worse when the Saudis executed Nimr al-Nimr, a Shiite cleric and outspoken critic of the ruling family, on January 2nd. The rivalry has played out across the Middle East, with Yemen being one key -- and often neglected -- arena.