It’s the beginning of a brand new era in the Middle-East. A change in the leadership of regional rivals, Israel and Iran seem imminent whilst the rest of the countries are due to address the challenges that will come with it.
It appears that for the first time in more than a decade, Israel Caretaker Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could possibly be ousted by his political rivals. Until a couple of days ago, everyone believed that Lapid would certainly fail to put together a coalition and Israel will have to wait for another election. A bombastic announcement by Yamina’s Naftali Bennett turned the whole table around, putting Netanyahu’s position in jeopardy. Now contested, Netanyahu claws at almost every rope to make sure his continued rule for the time being. In these times, one of the greatest political tricks to pull off is that of the threat of war and Netanyahu has shown himself willing to go to any length to achieve that.
Yesterday, in an unprecedented move throughout the history of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he would do everything in his power to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions, with or without the US blessing. Speaking during the appointment ceremony of his new Mossad chief appointee, David Barnea, Netanyahu said that despite his 40 years of friendship with US President Joe Biden, he would nonetheless seek to defuse the threat posed by Iran “with or without the deal” by which he means the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). In recent times, the number of Israel’s covert operations against Iran’s nuclear program have risen exponentially and experts argue that all these attempts are done with Netanyahu’s permission to undermine the Vienna talks between Iran and E3+2 sponsored by the US government. To his luck, it appears that a stalling of negotiations, which was announced yesterday, seems to be ending in his favour. That brings us to Iran.
The Iran 2021 Presidential Election is right around the corner. The current lineup of potential candidates are revealed and thanks to Donald Trump’s unilateral decisions and his “maximum pressure” policy toward Iran, these next leaders are anything but optimistic and trusting of West and its promises. This year’s frontrunner, Ebrahim Raesi, is a well-known conservative with anti-western attitudes who at the time of his tenure as the Chief Justice of Iran was quite critical of Westerners’ disloyalty and untrustworthiness following Trump’s withdrawal from JCPOA. Should he get elected during this year’s election, which is a very likely possibility, the window of opportunity for reaching a proper resolution for the West and the rest of the parties involved is likely to close down quicker than what was initially expected and that would be in no one’s interests.
Elsewhere in the Middle-East, people are still suffering because of the pride of a prince who has reneged on his words once again and has decided to prolong an unwinnable war. It wasn’t not long ago that Saudi Arabia expressed that it hopes to reestablish its communications with Iran in order to find a viable solution to end the Yemen Civil War. Despite reciprocity from the Iranian side, Saudi Arabia reneged on its previous stance, engaging Yemenis once again. Nowadays, Houthi militia has ramped up its attacks against them once again and Yemenis are sitting on a box of dynamites ready to be lit once again.
Aside from Syria, which has now reached a decorum of stability thanks to its recent presidential election, nowhere in the Middle-East things seem to go calm and quiet. Palestinians have found their unity in adversity once again whilst Lebanon is gripped tight with an economic crisis strangling it. In Jordan, there are rumours of a princely coup once again and in UAE talks about how to strengthen Israel’s presence in the vicinity. All in all, it seems that in the near future, the Middle-East is going to change drastically. Things will change for better or worse but in the end change will be inevitable. Can these countries adapt themselves to what’s about to come? Guess we will find out soon enough.