Will the Oslo accords survive the war? What will the security architecture look like after the war? In this interview I speak about the changing regional architecture and the emerging scenarios for a possible day-after plans.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
The Religion 20 (R20) Forum that took place in Bali last November deserves attention, if only for the fact that it was initiated and hosted by two significant Islamic actors, commonly perceived until recently as bitter ideological rivals.
Co-hosting the R20 event were the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU)—Indonesia’s largest religious movement and a key civil society partner of the current Indonesian government—and the Muslim World League (MWL)—a Mecca-based Islamic organization considered until few years ago to be Saudi’s main engagement vehicle to globally promote an exclusive Wahhabi/Salafi agenda. Perhaps this new partnership is more than symbolic, and further cooperation could represent an important step in the formation of a new theological and ideological path for the Islamic world.Continue reading
It is with pleasure, following eight months of work, to share the latest monograph I published titled “Pan Arabism 2.0? The Struggle for a New Paradigm in the Middle East” that attempts to analyze the GCC agenda in the decade that culminated with the Abraham Accords. It argues that the Accords are connected to a broader vision of regional alignment and offer a detailed explanation to how this “change of heart” came about.
The Abraham Accords, signed in September 2020 have helped shed a light on a new discourse emerging from the Gulf that seeks to challenge some of the old dogmas that have dominated the region in the last few decades. A decade of turmoil that followed what was once dubbed as the “Arab Spring” finds a divided region, full of ethnic and religious conflict, ungoverned territories, and the growing reality of failed states. An “axis of resistance”, led by radical elements from both the Shi’a and the Sunni world, is perceived as a growing challenge to a group of actors led by a number of Gulf countries who identify radicalization as an existential threat. Facing the “axis of resistance”, a new “axis of renaissance” is coming of age with an alternative vision that seeks to change the face of the Middle East. In parallel to the rapid decline of the traditional Arab capitals, the Gulf is emerging as a more significant voice in the region due to its economic, political, and media influence. This article seeks to capture and explain the rise of this new Gulf-led axis and the early formulation of a new agenda of a more tolerant Middle East through a radical reshuffling of the order of priorities in the region. This is a long piece, co-authored with my colleague Hussein Abubaker. Read the full article here.
By: Nir Boms and Shayan Arya
The conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia have been escalating beyond rhetoric and is fast moving into an actual military confrontation. Following a long round of proxy moves from Yemen – as well as an attempts to stop oil tankers in the Persian gulf – Iran have crossed another escalation threshold with a recent a missile attack on the Saudi Abqaiq oil field. Condemnations and additional sanctions have already taken their course and seem to have frustrated the Islamic regime even further. Yet, these measures did not stop Iranian actions such as last week seize of another ship as well as the announcement on newusage of advanced centrifuges in violation of the 2015 nuclear agreement.
Judging from current trajectory, these last moves will again likely to result in additional rounds of sanction or “limited escalations.” However, sooner or later, a new strategy will be required as the current one is having little effect on Iran’s motivation to destabilize oil markets and continue it’s path of nuclear and proxy confrontation.
Few seek another war in the Middle East. But will that likely leave the victory in the hands of Iran’s supreme leader and its top military operator, Qasem Suleimani?Continue reading