Arab states are gradually re-normalizing their diplomatic ties with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government. As Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah have been major advocates of Syria’s return to the Arab world’s diplomatic fold, both are attempting to facilitate a restoration of relations between Damascus and Hamas, which may soon occur despite the Palestinian group’s decision to side against Assad in 2012.
Throughout recent weeks, deep-rooted tensions between Abu Dhabi and Tehran have heated up. Yet as the UAE is working closely with the United States and Arab allies to counter Iran’s regional influence via an Arab NATO alliance and tougher sanctions against Tehran, the risk of frictions and hostilities between Abu Dhabi and the Islamic Republic escalating beyond harsh rhetoric cannot be dismissed.
The U.S.’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 created a weak and dependent Iraq, paving the way for Iran to gain huge economic influence in the country, which it continues to wield, despite U.S. efforts.
For years, Egypt has used the Rafah Border Crossing, the only entry to the Gaza Strip under Palestinian and Egyptian control, to exert pressure on Hamas. However, the crossing’s closure punishes the whole Gaza Strip by restricting movement for its residents and imposing total isolation from the rest of the world.
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Amid escalating tension between the U.S. and Iran, Iraq finds itself under enormous pressure.
Hezbollah just took more power in Lebanon, but a new cabinet of ministers having been formed is no reason to rejoice.
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