The Great Debate

The three powerful scholars fueling Islamic State’s hate

March 29, 2016
Militant Islamist fighters waving flags, travel in vehicles as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. The fighters held the parade to celebrate their declaration of an Islamic "caliphate" after the group captured territory in neighbouring Iraq, a monitoring service said. The Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot previously known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), posted pictures online on Sunday of people waving black flags from cars and holding guns in the air, the SITE monitoring service said. Picture taken June 30, 2014.  REUTERS/Stringer (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT) - RTR3WKTZ

Militant Islamist fighters waving flags, travel in vehicles as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria’s northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

Why oil collapse is forcing Saudi Arabia to cut back on its checkbook diplomacy

March 16, 2016
Yemeni soldiers trained in Saudi Arabia, hold their weapons as they wear uniforms provided by the Gulf states in Marib, Yemen October 15, 2015. Marib is a city that is heavily armed even by the standards of Yemen, where the ready availability of weapons helped start civil war and is now preventing anyone coming out on top. Yemenis often say there are three guns for every person, a boast that has become an urgent concern in a country where the United Nations says the humanitarian situation is "critical". Picture taken October 15, 2015. REUTERS/Angus McDowall - RTS4ZMB

Yemeni soldiers trained in Saudi Arabia, hold their weapons as they wear uniforms provided by the Gulf states in Marib, Yemen October 15, 2015. REUTERS/Angus McDowall

The one thing in Saudi Arabia that works well is under threat

February 3, 2016
A gas flame is seen in the desert near the Khurais oilfield, about 160 km (99 miles) from Riyadh, June 23, 2008. State oil giant Saudi Aramco is adamant the biggest new field in its plan to raise oil capacity will arrive bang on schedule in June next year. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji  (SAUDI ARABIA) - RTX79NP

A gas flame is seen in the desert near the Khurais oilfield, about 99 miles from Riyadh, June 23, 2008. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji

Is it time for the United States to dump Saudi Arabia?

February 3, 2016
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walks with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir (C) to attend a Gulf Cooperation Council meeting at King Salman Regional Air Base in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, January 23, 2016. REUTERS/Jacquelyn Martin/Pool - RTX23NE0

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walks with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir (C) to attend a Gulf Cooperation Council meeting at King Salman Regional Air Base in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, January 23, 2016. REUTERS/Jacquelyn Martin

Podcast: Why the Iran-Saudi showdown is a gift to ISIS

January 28, 2016
PARTICIPANTS: Jason Fields, Matthew Gault, Murtaza Hussain

Saudi Arabia executes a cleric who is a member of the Saudi Shi’ite minority. Iran’s government, which sees itself as the leader of the Shi’ite world, doesn’t work very hard to stop an attack on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran that follows the execution. Saudi Arabia closes its embassy and tensions between the two nations, which had been growing for years, hit a new high.

The two greatest threats to U.S.-Iran détente

January 22, 2016
EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on their ability to report, film or take pictures in Tehran. A military vehicle carrying the Shahab 2 surface-to-surface missile drives past pictures of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (R) and Late Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer (IRAN - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY ANNIVERSARY) - RTR2RNX4

A military vehicle carrying the Shahab 2 surface-to-surface missile drives past pictures of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (R) and Late Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer

Saudi Arabia and Iran are playing a winner-take-all game

January 7, 2016
Shi'ites protest against the execution of Shi'ite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia, during a demonstration in Baghdad January 6, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily  - RTX219P8

Shi’ites protest against the execution of Shi’ite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia, during a demonstration in Baghdad January 6, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily

How the Saudi king benefits from a cleric’s execution

January 6, 2016
Members of the Shi'ite ulema council hold a sign for Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr who was executed along with others in Saudi Arabia, during a protest demonstration in Karachi, Pakistan, January 2, 2016. The sign reads in Urdu, "Protest, Protest, Protest, we condemn the martyring of Ayatullah Shaikh Baqar al-Nimr and other Muslims, and demand human rights organisations take notice of the inhuman incident and bring fact-finding to the public". REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro  - RTX20S7T

Members of the Shi’ite ulema council hold a sign for Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr who was executed along with others in Saudi Arabia, during a protest demonstration in Karachi, Pakistan, January 2, 2016.  REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

Will the U.S. fall for Saudi Arabia’s deliberate provocation in killing of Shi’ite cleric?

January 4, 2016
Protesters holding pictures of Shi'ite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr are pushed back by Iranian riot police during a demonstration against the execution of Nimr in Saudi Arabia, outside the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Tehran January, 3, 2016. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/TIMA  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY.       TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX20VG3

Protesters holding pictures of Shi’ite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr are pushed back by Iranian riot police outside the Saudi  Embassy in Tehran, January, 3, 2016. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/TIMA

Western dream of regime change in Iran is over, so what’s next?

September 15, 2015
A motorcyclist carries a poster depicting Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iran's late leader Ayatollah Khomeini during a rally marking al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day in Tehran

A motorcyclist carries a poster depicting Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Khomeini during a rally marking al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day in Tehran, July 10, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer/TIMA