Saudi Arabia

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The destabilising effect of cheap oil

The low cost of oil may come as an ongoing relief to many economies, such as Spain’s, but it is creating political and social volatility in numerous producer countries, both among Spain’s neighbours and further afield, reliant as they are on the income from oil to maintain their youthful [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Winners and losers in the fall of Aleppo

The fall of Aleppo in the hands of the government forces of Bashar al-Assad, with the military support of Russia and Iran, is producing both winners and losers; on both sides this new state of affairs will have repercussions over the short, medium and long terms that go far [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Saudi Arabia vs Iran: the real rivalry in the Middle East

Without it, nothing makes sense, and it has now emerged into broad daylight following the execution of the Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr alongside 46 other prisoners –43 of them convicted of al-Qaeda terrorist activities– and the subsequent riots and assault and torching of the Saudi Embassy in Tehran. The [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Syria: thank you, Putin

Due to the authoritarian nature of his regime (a format now known as ‘illiberal democracy’, since he actually wins elections), to the way he annexed Crimea and intervened in the Eastern Ukraine, to his homophobia and other similar traits, Vladimir Putin is the object of widespread distaste in the [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The New Silk Road passes through Iran

The agreement between the six world powers and Iran is important not only because it will prevent a war or a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, but because it paves the way for reintegrating the country into both regional and global frameworks. But this does not mean [...]

Sectarianism in Bahrain and the New Middle East Cold War

The current Middle East seems to be on the verge of collapse and the revival of the Sunni-Shia divide appears to be the main culprit. The Arab Spring uprisings have altered the existing balance of power and accentuated the sectarian differences in the region. In this context, some states [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Iran’s reconciliation with the world upsets regional balances

During his successful 2013 election campaign, the centrist President Hassan Rouhani pledged ‘to reconcile Iran with the world’, thus indicating that he (and others) felt a degree of personal responsibility for the long 35 years of the country’s distancing from the rest of the world. The framework agreement reached [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Cheaper oil, geopolitical effects

Some see it as the long arm of Saudi Arabia; others as a concerted action with the US; and, finally, there are those who just see the markets move, at a Europe on the brink of recession and a world submerged in a ‘new mediocrity’. The fact is that [...]
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