Escalate, de-escalate, oil and intervention

Just another new decade in the Middle East North Africa region.

This 45-minute Middle East Analysis podcast, the first of 2020, is titled in a way that makes you think of a rhythmic children’s pat-a-cake game or a mnemonic device for remembering something important.

Actually a lot of today’s topical discussion with international lawyer and regional commentator Dr Harry Hagopian falls under one or more of those four descriptors – escalate, de-escalate, oil and intervention.

The ‘intervention’ is obviously of the foreign kind as global powers seek to maintain or expand their interests in MENA.

We start with escalation and, potentially, de-escalation, by looking at the US-Iran crisis before moving across to North Africa and a warlord versus UN-backed government stand-off in Libya. Next comes Lebanon and its inability to form a government leading to something of a meltdown.

We conclude on a more positive note by looking at the seemingly painless succession in the sultanate of Oman.

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