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Qatar Shuffles Back to the Future

Qatar’s recent Cabinet reshuffle and announcement it will withdraw from OPEC are decisions that are not likely to herald a strategic shift in the country’s direction, but they do demonstrate that Doha is, once again, pursuing its own regional interests.

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Iran’s Rising Unemployment Crisis

Iran’s increasingly tight job market, as a result of poor political and economic policies, as well as global sanctions, may intensify sociopolitical dissatisfaction and spark further unrest.

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New UAE Investment Laws Pose Challenge to Free Zones

Government efforts to legalize full foreign ownership in specific sectors aim to significantly boost inward foreign investments. However, the commercial reform threatens to disrupt the long-standing economic institutions and commercial incentives associated with free zones.

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The War in Syria is Transforming the IRGC into an Expeditionary Force

The metamorphosis of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps into an expeditionary force as a result of the Syrian war bodes ill for the United States and its allies in the Middle East, who will likely encounter a more confrontational Islamic Republic in the future.

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Bahrain’s Carefully Managed Elections Remake Parliament

On November 24 and December 1 Bahrain held elections for the lower house of Parliament and municipal councils. The new members – absent representation by once-influential opposition societies and dominated by political independents and newcomers – will face a strenuous test with austerity measures looming.

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OPEC and Allies Mull Oil Production Cut while Trump Presses to Keep Prices Low

Ahead of their December 6 meeting in Vienna, OPEC and its non-OPEC allies are considering whether and to what extent they need to curb production to balance an oversupplied market and lift oil prices. But Trump’s pressure to keep oil prices low will make their job that much harder.

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Almaha Aldossari: A Chef’s Journey to Veganism

Known on social media as “The Bedouin Vegan,” Almaha Aldossari presents the vegan philosophy to her followers as both a global idea and part of Saudi identity.

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MbS – with an Assist from the King – Shores up Support at Home

In the wake of the Khashoggi affair, Saudi Arabia's King Salman is rallying royals and courting the public on behalf of his embattled son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Will this injection of traditional prestige and patronage reassure MbS’s skeptics at home and abroad?

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Can Iraq’s New Oil Minister Reshape the Energy Sector?

Iraq’s new oil minister, Thamir Ghadhban, has managed to maneuver his way around the maze of Iraq’s sectarian politics; now, he will have to oversee a restructuring of the energy sector without upsetting the vested interests that have benefited from the absence of good governance across the Iraqi political spectrum.

Why Washington has Reacted So Intensely to the Khashoggi Murder

Factors including regard for the victim, the nature of the crime, the powerful accusers, and Trump-related anxieties all contribute to the extraordinary impact in Washington of the Khashoggi murder.

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Through its careful examination of the forces shaping the evolution of Gulf societies and the new generation of emerging leaders, AGSIW facilitates a richer understanding of the role the countries in this key geostrategic region can be expected to play in the 21st century.

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