Human Rights Abuses in Saudi Arabia

David Andrew Weinberg comes on the show to talk about human rights in Saudi Arabia. We covered many topics including:

  • What are the most pressing human rights issues in Saudi Arabia?
  • How much influence does the U.S. have to affect change on Saudi human rights issues?
  • Saudi policies that have lead to, or perpetuated, human rights abuses in other Middle Eastern countries
  • The strategic implications of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record
  • What it takes to get changes implemented in Saudi Arabia
  • How the U.S. can push for change without jeopardizing its relationship with Saudi Arabia

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This episode was supported by Scott Herbert. You can help support the show by making a small donation on Patreon!

Transcript of this episode – produced by Frederick Wertz

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Understanding the Iran Nuclear Negotiations

Dina Esfandiary comes on the show to talk about the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran, including many issues that aren’t explained well (or at all) in news reports. Topics covered include:

  • Netanyahu’s speech to congress and Israeli objections to a deal
  • The issue of a “sunset clause” in the deal being negotiated
  • Major obstacles the negotiations still need to overcome, and what is most likely to cause them to fail
  • Problems with focusing on breakout time, and what the various centrifuge numbers being discussed really mean
  • Details on the sanctions Iran has faced, and what could happen as they are removed
  • How Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia, view the ongoing negotiations
  • What could happen if a deal isn’t reached by the upcoming deadlines
  • How the Supreme Leader and the Iranian public view the negotiations

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This episode was supported by David de Bruijn. You can help support the podcast by making a small donation on Patreon!

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Transcript of this episode – produced by Frederick Wertz

Political Chaos in Yemen

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Adam Baron comes on the show to discuss the ongoing political chaos in Yemen. Topics covered include:

  • Who the Houthis are, and where they get their power and influence
  • Saleh’s continued grip on power and recent connections to the Houthis
  • The Islamist Islah party’s current status
  • How AQAP fits into the current chaos
  • What president Hadi has been able to accomplish over the past two years
  • The importance of local politics in Yemen
  • The relevance of the international community (including the recent sanctions) on Yemeni politics
  • Problems with viewing the situation in Yemen through a sectarian lens

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Gulf Donors to Jihadi Groups

Elizabeth Dickinson comes back on the show to discuss Gulf funding for jihadi groups in light of recent advances by ISIS in Iraq.

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Gulf Politics & Jihadi Internet Forums

Elizabeth Dickinson joins me to discuss recent GCC political news, and her work studying private Gulf fundraising for Syrian rebel groups. Thomas Hegghammer returns to the show to talk about jihadi use of internet forums and social media, in particular the interpersonal trust issues jihadis face online.

Elizabeth Dickinson

Thomas Hegghammer

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Militant Groups in Bahrain & Continuing Problems in Iraq

This week Phillip Smyth joins me to discuss Shia militant groups in Bahrain, and Joel Wing talks with me about the continuing problems in Iraq.

Phillip Smyth

Joel Wing

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Arab Gulf Aid in the Middle East

Khalid Almezaini, author of The UAE and Foreign Policy, discusses Arab Gulf foreign aid programs. Almezaini covers the history of Arab Gulf nations’ foreign aid programs, as well as how they have changed recently. We talk about the motivations behind the aid programs, what the donor nations stand to gain, and the future of Arab Gulf aid in the Middle East.

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