Addressing Saudi Arabia’s concerns over the Iran nuclear deal, The Media Line suggested that if the kingdom feels threatened, it could “go down the nuclear path.” AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Hussein Ibish noted, “The decisions Riyadh makes in the next few years on this issue will depend hugely on the outcome of the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, and on the policy moves by others, especially Iran and the US. They [the Saudis] would be willing to go there, ultimately, if they conclude they have no choice.”
Addressing talks planned between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama on Syria, Ibish told Al Jazeera that Putin has the upper hand, stating, “American policy on Syria is at a crossroads, not because there is any appetite for a different policy in the White House but because all the existing approaches have collapsed.” Speaking to the Middle East Eye Ibish noted, “US policy toward Syria is in crisis. It emphasizes avoiding the collapse of all national and governance institutions in the country, and so it ends up deferring to the current regime even though it is US policy that the dictatorship has lost all legitimacy and must go.” He continued, “There has to be some kind of reconciliation between these contradictory imperatives before the administration can develop a policy on Syria that is internally coherent.”
Additionally, Ibish spoke with The Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog about Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson’s comment that “Taqiyya is a component of Shia that allows, and even encourages you to lie to achieve your goals.” Ibish discredited the claim saying that as Islam is a proselytizing religion, “you’re supposed to preach it from the rooftops and the minarets” in order to gain adherents, not keep the religion a secret.