Saudi Arabia

More than a Saudi PR disaster

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The brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi dissident and critic of Mohammed bin Sultan (aka MbS), has ripped apart the image the ruling Saudi prince had crafted for himself as a “moderniser”. The details of Khashoggi’s killing — he was enticed into the Saudi consulate in Turkey and butchered with a hacksaw — reads like a script from a horror movie.

Yemen: ‘I thought that I would not be affected’

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This is the story of 30 year old Abdulsalam Al-Kibdi, a Yemeni man who spent 13 years as a working migrant in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, living with his wife and three children, the youngest of whom is only a few months old.

“On 22 November 2017 police officers stopped by my work and asked me to get into their truck. I knew that the Saudi government had put new restrictions on Yemeni migrants and workers but I thought that I would not be affected.

House of Saud: A Family at War

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The British ruling class has for many years made a habit of grovelling to the Saudi royal family. The reason for this is clear: huge amounts of money. The Saudis have spent billions on British weapons. This trade has been recently given a great boost by the Saudi war on Yemen.

Consequently one was entitled to expect that the BBC4 three-part series, House of Saud: A Family at War, would be very much an apology for the Saudis, celebrating the supposed huge strides that have been made in liberalising the regime in recent years.

Middle East spins deeper into crisis

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Foreign intervention is pushing the Middle East into a series of wars with no end in sight.

The war in Syria and Iraq is threatening to spill into a war between the Saudis and Iran, Turkey is preparing to crush the restive Kurdish regions, while the prospect of a defeat for ISIS threatens a deeper and bloodier struggle over its old strongholds.

Cameron's Saudi friends

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Why do British governments grovel to the Saudi royal family? Is it because of our “shared values”, as the New Labour minister Kim Howells famously put it, or is it because they stand shoulder to shoulder with Britain and the United States in the Great War on Terror as various senior Tories continually insist?

Obviously neither of these claims is true. The real reason is shown quite dramatically by British arms sales to the Saudis. Over a three-month period towards the end of last year British arms sales grew from £9 million to more than £1 billion.

Imperialism and the new wars in the Middle East

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The decline of US imperialism in the Middle East is fuelling rising tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Simon Assaf looks at the region as it plunges deeper into violence and uncertainty.

In the heady days of the Arab Spring revolutions, tens of millions of people took to the streets in vast movements for change that raised the possibility of a deep transformation of the region. The retreat of these revolutions has been marked by a return of repression and the unleashing of horrific sectarianism.

Yemen: a dangerous escalation

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Yemen’s Houthi rebels have swept across the country, reaching as far as the strategically vital port of Aden, driving out the president and laying siege to a US base. The Houthis are Shia tribes from the mountainous north. They have been able to fill the power vacuum following the stalling of the Yemeni Revolution, one of the most popular and well supported uprisings of the Arab Spring.

Guilty as charged

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Campaigners have won a landmark legal case against the government over the halting of an investigation into allegedly corrupt arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Sullivan ruled in the High Court on 10 April that Tony Blair's government had acted unlawfully when they pressurised the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to abandon the inquiry. The judges described the situation as a "successful attempt by a foreign government to pervert the course of justice in the United Kingdom".

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