Middle East And North Africa
The contrast between richly endowed oil-and-gas economies and resource-poor countries is an important marker in the region. Its strategic location between the East and West, along with its energy wealth, make it vulnerable to the clashing policies and interests of local and global powers, including the United States, Europe and Russia. Foreign interventions tend to exacerbate local conflicts.
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Iran: Scenarios for deep reform or regime change
Starting last November, Iranians have been taking to the streets to voice their dissatisfaction with the country’s leadership. Over the past decade, several such movements have sprung up, only to ultimately be stamped out. Achieving regime change, or even significant reform, would entail depriving powerful, privileged groups of tremendous benefits. Any attempt to do so will meet stiff resistance.