As Riyadh’s rivalry with Tehran in the Levant turns to Lebanon, its increasing pressure on Hezbollah threatens to severely destabilize the country.
Saudi Arabia’s recent waves of arrests reveal the political system’s increased use of security measures to control the public while promising limited reforms to stave off instability.
The UAE’s desire to counter Iran and maximize influence over Saudi domestic affairs is keeping it involved in Yemen, where its interests are not always in line with Saudi Arabia’s.
Efforts by Kuwait’s parliamentary opposition to expand rights for the bidoon community stem primarily from a desire to drum up political support from tribes.
Escalating tensions surrounding the Kurdish independence referendum are encouraging Iran to accelerate efforts to diversify trade to Iraq.
Recent succession and foreign policy moves in Saudi Arabia may get in the way of the kingdom’s planned economic reforms.
The rapid escalation of tensions over the past few weeks carries significant implications for unity, security, and balance of power in the Gulf.
Iran’s weak economic recovery eroded Rouhani’s voter base, but municipal victories for his reformist and centrist allies may help his agenda and boost chances for future electoral victories.
Free zones are a major contributor to the Dubai economy, but they could undermine the Emirate’s judicial and constitutional system.
The UAE’s focus on its defense industry indicates its aims to become a more credible military actor by enhancing use of equipment and exporting arms globally.
Though Qatar has been reforming its laws on migrant labor, little is being done to address the system’s underlying deficiencies.
Expanded U.S.–Saudi security cooperation in the region could empower their shared enemies of Iran and militant Sunni Islamists.
Saudi Arabia is betting that oil markets will rebalance themselves at higher prices, and it has no economic backup plan if prices remain low.
As Kuwait’s opposition struggles to obstruct austerity measures, it is capitalizing on popular resentment against expatriates to pressure the government into broader concessions.
Iranian support for the Houthis has been marginal and does not shape their decisionmaking as much as local alliances and conflict dynamics do.
While the Rouhani administration tries to find the right balance of financial reforms, the banking sector challenges continue to hamper sustainable economic growth.
Tensions persist between Tunisia and its former ally the UAE, but Tunisia hopes renewed ties could balance out its current dependence on Qatar.
Saudi Arabia’s plans of privatizing the economy to overcome oil dependence hinge on opening up its political sphere.
Kuwait’s opposition could complicate the government’s plans to ensure financial sustainability and maintain political stability.
Regional competition and the lack of a cooperation strategy with its neighbors are compounding Saudi Arabia’s inability to act as an oil price setter.