The Arab Spring and Its Counterrevolutionaries

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Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are likely to have little influence over the final outcome of the Arab Spring. Instead, the course of political transformation across the Middle East will be determined by domestic actors.
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Although there has been dramatic change in the region over the course of the past year and a half, “the Arab world is still experiencing transformations that are at best incomplete,” noted Carnegie's Marina Ottaway, speaking with the International Relations and Security Network. She argued that there are still significant remnants of the old regimes working in Egypt and Tunisia to secure their influence and interests.

Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are all important components of the geopolitical configuration of the region and have different views on the Arab uprisings, Ottaway continued. Each of these countries has been supportive of uprisings in some countries and wary of revolts in others. Despite their strength and influence in the region Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey “will not be the main factor in shaping the outcome of the Arab uprisings. These are domestic political battles and foreign actors will only have a marginal impact in what happens in countries in transition in the Arab world,” concluded Ottaway.

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About the Middle East Program

The Carnegie Middle East Program combines in-depth local knowledge with incisive comparative analysis to examine economic, sociopolitical, and strategic interests in the Arab world. Through detailed country studies and the exploration of key crosscutting themes, the Carnegie Middle East Program, in coordination with the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, provides analysis and recommendations in both English and Arabic that are deeply informed by knowledge and views from the region. The program has special expertise in political reform and Islamist participation in pluralistic politics.


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