The Latest - Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States Latest

5th October 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

Silencing of Critics Threatens to Undermine Saudi Reform Efforts

Varsha Koduvayur

Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist known for his criticisms of the Saudi government and the crown prince, disappeared Tuesday after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. With still no contact from him, his friends and fiancée fear the worst. more...

17th August 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

Assad Regime Restoring Economic Ties with Jordan and UAE

Tony Badran

Following the Assad regime’s recapture of opposition-held areas in southern Syria, pro-regime media have begun boasting the restoration of economic relations with Arab countries, namely Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. Damascus is eager to show that its success on the battlefield will persuade regional governments – including those friendly to the U.S. – to stop treating it as a pariah state. more...

17th August 2018 – The American Interest

The Fallout of Qatar’s Bailout

Aykan Erdemir, Varsha Koduvayur

Turkey’s economy has been in a dramatic tailspin, with its currency plunging more than 40 percent in the past 12 months. Qatar stepped in Wednesday to stanch Turkey’s bleeding, albeit not as soon as Ankara would have liked. In the process, Doha also inserted itself in the middle of a major U.S.-Turkish dispute, by taking sides with a Turkish government that holds U.S. citizens and State Department employees hostage. more...

9th August 2018 – The New York Post

In Saudi-Canada standoff, Riyadh should stand down

Jonathan Schanzer, Varsha Koduvayur

The last time Canada undertook an act of aggression was in 1999, when it declared war on the United States — in the comedic universe of “South Park,” that is. But few were laughing Monday when Saudi Arabia shockingly cut ties with Canada and enacted severe punitive measures against Ottawa. more...

25th July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

US-led coalition: 6 Islamic State operatives plotted against Saudi Arabia, Sweden and US

Thomas Joscelyn

The US-led coalition announced on July 24 that at least six Islamic State operatives who had plotted terrorist attacks abroad have been killed in airstrikes since April. The jihadists were allegedly planning attacks in Saudi Arabia and Sweden, as well as against the US and American interests. more...

1st July 2018 – Arab News

ANALYSIS: Qatar will pay a price for its financial links with Iran

Saeed Ghasseminejad, Varsha Koduvayur

Iran’s mullahs are growing nervous about Tehran’s access to foreign markets, and with good reason. more...

29th June 2018 – The New York Post

Kuwait best get with the program – or be prepared to face Trump’s wrath

Jonathan Schanzer, Varsha Koduvayur

There’s a new hitch in President Trump’s plan to form a united front among Gulf states and Israel against Iran. more...

27th June 2018 – The Jerusalem Post

Analysis: How Gulf States can get Europe to Abandon Iran

Benjamin Weinthal

The protests sweeping across Iran are a clear sign the country’s economy and its Islamic revolutionary system are ready to buckle. more...

21st June 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

U.S. Urges Saudis to Stabilize Oil Prices, Underscoring Continued Energy Insecurity

John Hannah

Tomorrow in Vienna, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will meet with several non-OPEC producers, including Russia, to chart the future of the global oil market. The group – informally known as OPEC plus – will decide whether to ease production cuts that were implemented in 2016 in an effort to drive up prices, which had crashed to a 13-year low. more...

16th June 2018 – The National

Tehran and its proxies are willing to sacrifice the welfare of ordinary Yemenis to keep the conflict

Behnam Ben Taleblu

“There is no military solution to the conflict,” says the UN special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths. Iranian officials agree, at least in public, yet Tehran keeps sending weapons to the Houthi rebels, including ballistic missiles. Arming the rebels makes perfect sense when Iran does not want to resolve the conflict. more...

14th June 2018 – Foreign Policy

Kuwait and Oman Are Stuck in Arab No Man’s Land

Jonathan Schanzer, Varsha Koduvayur

Just over a year ago, four of America’s Arab allies — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt — severed relations with Qatar, another key U.S. ally. They enacted a land, sea, and air blockade to punish the tiny emirate for what they claimed was Doha’s “embrace of various terrorist” entities. Observers widely thought the diplomatic spat would be patched up within a few months. After all, this was hardly the first time Qatar and its Gulf neighbors had squabbled. more...

10th June 2018 – The Wall Street Journal

Oman’s Dangerous Double Game

Jonathan Schanzer, Nicole Salter

The Obama administration sought to help Iran cash in on the 2015 nuclear deal, a Republican-led Senate investigation revealed last week. The report also raises questions about the role played by Oman, a strategically located if little-known sultanate. more...

1st June 2018 – FDD's CSIF Policy Brief

Gulf States Crack Down on Iran’s Illicit Finance

Annie Fixler , Varsha Koduvayur

Sixty members of the Iranian parliament sent President Hassan Rouhani a letter last week demanding that the Islamic Republic reconsider its ties with the United Arab Emirates due to what they deemed a hostile stance towards Tehran. Iran has reason to be nervous about its financial relations not only with the UAE, but also with the rest of the Arab Gulf. more...

26th May 2018 – The Jerusalem Post

Saudi Arabia stops new business with Germany over its pro-Iran policy

Benjamin Weinthal

Riyadh pulled the plug on awarding government contracts to German companies, in a possible response to Berlin’s pro-Iranian regime polices and its accusation that the kingdom’s foreign policy constitutes “political adventurism” in the Middle East. more...

14th May 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

Ripples in the Gulf: GCC States’ Reaction to Withdrawal from Iran Deal Reflects Disunity

Varsha Koduvayur

President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal prompted reactions from the Gulf States ranging from enthusiasm to regret. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members’ divergent responses reflect the GCC’s disunity on Iran, highlighting challenges Washington may face in its quest to re-isolate the Islamic Republic. more...

8th May 2018 – The Hill

The delicate balance of the US-Saudi relationship

Jonathan Schanzer, Varsha Koduvayur

Since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s rise to power, major reforms have swept the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. But FDD’s Jonathan Schanzer and Varsha Koduvayur argue in The Hill that while bin Salman’s Vision 2030 deserves credit, there is far more work to be done in the Kingdom. more...

30th April 2018 – Foreign Policy

Trump Is Right to Target Saudi-Russian Collusion

John Hannah

For those who want to see what a real case of Russian collusion looks like, check out what has been happening in global oil markets for the past year and a half. In late 2016, Russia and Saudi Arabia conspired to cut supply and raise prices. more...

23rd April 2018 – Real Clear Defense

The Senate’s Blind Spot on Terrorism in Yemen

Alexandra N. Gutowski

On Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee pressed hard on top administration officials to justify U.S. support for the Saudi war effort in Yemen, where hunger and cholera cause tremendous suffering. Senators certainly should be asking these tough questions, yet their narrow focus resulted in a missed opportunity to ask equally important questions about the opaque U.S. mission to fight terrorism in Yemen, which the Trump administration has conducted with growing intensity. more...

10th April 2018 – FDD's CSIF Policy Brief

Bahraini Bank Investigations Offers Powerful Example for Treating De-listed Entities

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Varsha Koduvayur

The Bahraini government last week disclosed evidence detailing how the now-shuttered Future Bank participated in a multi-billion dollar sanctions-evasion scheme benefiting Iran. Bahrain’s foreign minister, Khalid bin Ahmed al Khalifa, stated that Future Bank was involved in “supporting and funding terrorist entities and organizations” and concealed at least $7 billion in transactions from 2004 until 2015. more...

9th April 2018 – Real Clear Defense

Retail Therapy: Isolated Qatar Hopes Spending Will Spur New Alliances

Alexandra N. Gutowski, Varsha Koduvayur

Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al Thani is set to visit the White House on April 10 where he will meet with President Trump. The emir’s visit comes as Qatar – isolated regionally by a Saudi-led blockade – is in the midst of a major charm offensive designed to repair relations with the United States. But while the recent U.S.-Qatar strategic dialogue and the emir’s upcoming visit signify the centrality of America to Qatar’s geopolitical calculus, Doha is concurrently hedging its bets and diversifying its international support. more...


Jonathan Schanzer

Senior Vice President

David Andrew Weinberg

Senior Fellow

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Senior Fellow

cia, iran, iraq

John Hannah

Senior Counselor

Bill Roggio

Senior Fellow and Editor of FDD's Long War Journal


23rd May 2017 - 8:00 AM

Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Global Affiliates: New U.S. Administration Considers New Policies

FDD hosted a conference with the Hudson Institute and The George Washington University's Center for Cyber & Homeland Security featuring keynote discussion with Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense (2006-2011).

12th February 2016 - 6:03 PM

Rising Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia: Geopolitical and Energy Security Implications

The latest increase in tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia raises questions about the potential for further instability in the region and possible oil supply disruptions. These risks are most apparent in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, home both to more than half of the nation’s oil production and a Shia majority. The panel discussion will focus on how these developments are impacting U.S. national and energy security interests at a time when Iran sanctions are being lifted, allowing Tehran to export its petroleum, further adding to an oversupplied global oil market.