Saturday, March 22, 2014

The endgame in Syria & the prospects for an Iran nuclear deal have triggered realignments in regional politics

"... With the intra-GCC rifts becoming acute, Saudi deployments in Bahrain to quell the upheaval for democratic reforms are becoming unsustainable, especially with the steadily worsening situation in the eastern provinces of Saudi Arabia, which are Shi’ite-dominated. Besides, the Saudis are bracing for a confrontation with Qatar. The latter, on the other hand, has close ties with Turkey and Iran and, even more shockingly for Riyadh, it has reached out to the Syrian regime for a patch-up. In sum, Saudi Arabia faces isolation and has only the UAE, Bahrain and Jordan as its reliable allies. Iran’s Fars News Agency featured an insightful  report on this complex realignment taking place in the Middle Eastern politics.
Quite obviously, 
the endgame in Syria and the brightening prospects for an Iran nuclear deal have triggered realignments in regional politics. The Syrian regime has all but gained the upper hand on the ground and is fast reaching a position to dictate the national reconciliation, while Iran’s diplomatic options have multiplied. 
Against this backdrop, and with Egypt in disarray, Saudi Arabia feels an unprecedented regional isolation. No doubt, it is assiduously courting Pakistan. But it is unclear whether Pakistan will want to take sides in the intra-GCC rift involving Saudi Arabia and Qatar or in the popular Shi’ite uprising in Bahrain. From all accounts, a furious debate is going on within the Pakistani establishment. Pakistan always walked a fine line when it concerned ties with Iran, given the Tehran-Delhi equation. Having said that, Pakistan is also badly in need of the “gifted money”. Unsurprisingly, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is scheduling a visit to Iran. .."

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