It has been one year since Iran, the United States and five other world powers reached a landmark deal designed to limit Tehran’s nuclear program. In exchange for curbs on its nuclear program, the United Nations lifted all nuclear-related sanctions against Iran, and the EU lifted many bilateral sanctions on Iran’s banking and energy sectors.
But Iran’s economy continues to suffer. For Iran, the deal was the first step toward economic recovery after years of crippling sanctions. Instead, because of unilateral U.S. sanctions on the Iranian economy, Tehran finds itself in the awkward position of having to rely on the United States to lobby other countries and non-American financial institutions to conduct business with it.… Seguir leyendo »
When Saudi Arabia’s King Salman replaced his oil minister and reshuffled his cabinet on Saturday, he did so with the goal of executing an audacious plan to transform the country’s economy. “Saudi Vision 2030,” the brainchild of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, seeks to end the Kingdom’s oil addiction and improve government transparency and efficiency.
Highlights of the plan include listing 5 percent of Saudi ARAMCO on the Saudi stock exchange and internationally in New York, London and Hong Kong; reducing unemployment from 11 percent to 7 percent; increasing the role of women in the work force; privatizing huge swaths of Saudi Arabia’s economy so as to increase the private sector’s share of GDP; and creating a military industrial holding company that will supply half of Saudi Arabia’s weapons, thereby reducing the government’s yearly defense spending.… Seguir leyendo »
Recent gains by Islamic State in Iraq have raised questions about the viability of the Obama administration’s strategy to degrade and ultimately defeat it. Thus far, President Barack Obama has ruled out the use of U.S. ground forces and opted for a mix of air strikes and arming elements in Iraq that have a vested interest in fighting Islamic State. The results of this approach have been mixed. What has become clear, though, is that to defeat Islamic State, the Obama administration must engage with elements of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, who are increasingly on the front lines battling Islamic State alongside motivated Iraqi forces.… Seguir leyendo »