And so it came, after years of protracted negotiations, extended deadlines and a diplomatic dance of unprecedented proportions – a deal that could signal a new era for Iran’s relations with the world. (...) Beyond the technical details of the agreement lies a triumph of diplomacy and the potential, if not for a realignment of US interests in the Middle East, then certainly a significant adjustment which has concerned its traditional allies in the region.
The world’s top oil exporter is abandoning its traditional preference for soft-power diplomacy, a shift that gathered pace after the Arab Spring. Analysts see vulnerability behind the show of strength: Saudis are concerned that the U.S., their historic protector, has different priorities now, as it negotiates with Iran and talks about pivoting to Asia.
Ever since the fall of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, in September 2014 in the hands of the Houthis, Yemen has been fighting a regional conflict while its political situation has reached a deadlock; the head of state and the prime minister resigned Jan. 22 amid complete failure to reach a domestic settlement as the Houthis continue to expand militarily.
The United Nations said Tuesday that the last of its international staffers had left Yemen, while the U.N. human rights chief warned that the country was on the verge of a "total collapse."U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said the 13 remaining international staffers had been withdrawn and would return when "circumstances permit."
It is also perhaps a demonstration of Obama’s very challenging efforts to establish an “equilibrium” between Shia and Sunni forces throughout the Middle East region, especially in the Gulf. Obama explicitly made such equilibrium a strategic aim in the region in his famous interview with The New Yorker’s David Remnick 14 months ago.
The Houthi coup and other recent developments in Yemen have raised many questions about the country's religious fabric, especially the relationship between its large Zaidi community and Twelver Shia Islam, the main religion of Iran.
Yemeni national Fahd Ghazy has been detained at Guantanamo since he was 17. Now 30, Ghazy has been cleared for release not once, but twice, first by the Bush administration and again by the Obama administration.
Lauren Lee White considers the public diplomacy fallout of illegal detentions at Guantanamo.