Issue 1175 PDF: Iran, Saudi Arabia and UAE cosy up to China with Brics membership

Issue 1175 - 31 Aug 2023

The formal invitation for Iran, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and a few others to join the Brics group is analysed in depth, not least as a further sign of China’s growing international influence and of wider shifting global alignments. A turbocharged Brics has been seen as a boost to the trend of ‘dedollarising’ international trade and fits into a wider pattern of so-called middle powers trying to find a balance in their relations between the world’s established and emerging superpowers.

In a special report GSN also analyses Qatar's power dynamics and international relations, as Emir Sheikh Tamim’s rule enters its second decade. Among other issues in Politics are the demands of more than 800 inmates in Bahrain's Jau Central Prison who are undertaking hunger strikes.

As the Iranian authorities prepare for the first anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s death, GSN view analyses efforts to prevent a revival of the “Women, Life, Freedom” protests. Fresh measures are being prepared to enforce the hijab, which are likely to prove divisive and could be a key issue in the parliamentary election scheduled for March 2024.

In Finance and business, younger Saudi royals are moving beyond the family’s traditional leisure pursuits to take up senior positions in bodies overseeing everything from motorsport to triathlons and diving. This feeds into Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s economic and social diversification drive, but has largely gone unnoticed against a backdrop of the state’s headline-grabbing investments in international golf and recruitment of football megastars.

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