Why it is too early to call Saudi’s ‘Hariri’ gamble on Lebanon a failure

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

When Saad al-Hariri was ‘recalled’ to Riyadh to subsequently announce his shock resignation, there was little doubt that the indignation felt by many Lebanese was warranted. If anyone needed a clearer example that Lebanon is flapping helplessly in a sea of opposing Saudi and Iranian currents, then Hariri all but confirmed this. However, Hariri soon left Riyadh for Paris and …

An impossible Gulf: Obama and Saudi Arabia

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa, Saudi Arabia

Obama arrived in the Riyadh yesterday on the backdrop of a proposed Congress bill that leaves the potential for citizens to sue the Kingdom over 9/11, and a subsequent Saudi threat to withdraw $750 billion from the US. But this is not the key issue behind Obama’s visit. Rather the above is merely the straw that broke the camel’s back. …

Why is it taking so long to solve the Syria crisis?

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

Millions of refugees, a whole host of rebel movements, constant ‘negotiations’ and regular flights to Geneva. And despite a universally recognised humanitarian crisis, the Syrian conflict appears no closer to a solution. Why? The answer is actually quite complex and requires apportioning the blame to a number of parties, including the opposition. Let’s begin there: The opposition The Syrian opposition …

Iran v Saudi Arabia: it’s politics

Abu Bakr Al Shamahi Middle East/North Africa, Saudi Arabia

There have been a lot of articles and amazingly fascinating fact boxes on the split between Shia and Sunni Muslims, written, I’m guessing, by people who don’t know their Karbala from their Kelloggs, in an attempt to explain the dispute between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Normally, when I read an article that says something along the lines of “the people …

Iran to Try Attract International Oil Companies Back with New Petroleum Contract

Op Ed Oil and Gas

The need for Iran to invest in its oil and gas sector to maintain and boost output is obvious. In a bid to create an environment more conducive to attracting foreign investment, the oil ministry has started working on a new contract model for international companies seeking to become involved in domestic oil field developments which will be unveiled in …