Complex Triple Crisis: Iran and the Arabian Gulf

No War and no Peace !

Policy Analysis – Hichem Karoui – Gulf Futures Center

Introduction

Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo at the extraordinary session of the Arab League Council on November 19, 2017, condemned the Iranian interference in their affairs in the strongest terms, but they will not go to war with Iran. At least not “at this stage,” according to the Secretary-General of the Arab League. But what does “not at this stage” mean? It is an ambiguous sentence, as on the one hand, there is no absolute denial of the intention of war, which, on the other hand, is still unacceptable … as if the Secretary-General deferred the decision on this issue to sometime in the future!

The present situation suggests that there is a complex, multidimensional and protracted crisis situation:

·      First, a chronic crisis between Iran, and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries in general, has distanced the simple mistrust and reached the state of proxy wars in different countries, from Lebanon and Iraq to Syria and Yemen.

·      Second, a reproducible crisis situation between Qatar and a number of other Gulf states and Egypt, evidenced in the boycott and the media  and diplomatic war.

·      Third, an emergency crisis between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia resulted in the resignation of Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri from Riyadh on November 5, and his volte-face (reversal policy) on the 22 November-Independence Day in Beirut. Continue reading “Complex Triple Crisis: Iran and the Arabian Gulf”

Economic Deal or Military Confrontation?

China Plus Published: 2017-11-09

By Hichem Karoui 

Trump’s negative rhetoric about China, should not be considered outside of its context.

We remember that he has promised to declare China a “currency manipulator” on his first day in office, to bring it to account for “stealing” technology, allowing sub-standard working conditions and loose environmental controls. Trump has also proposed providing additional arms to China’s neighbors and imposing a 45% duty on Chinese goods. But in fact, this is the way Trump starts negotiating a deal. He had also depicted Saudi Arabia and the US Gulf allies in the harshest terms, before accepting an invitation to the Summit of Riyadh in May 2017!

Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, holds a ceremony to welcome U.S. President Donald Trump at the square outside the east gate of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday, November 9, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, holds a ceremony to welcome U.S. President Donald Trump at the square outside the east gate of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday, November 9, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua]

Continue reading “Economic Deal or Military Confrontation?”