The Heat: Saudi Arabia’s role in the Middle East

The Heat

Surrounded by a region in turmoil. At war in Yemen. And challenged by Iran. What does the future hold for Saudi Arabia?

Since King Salman came to power earlier this year, it has been an awful time for Saudi Arabia. In March the country launched attacks on the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen. This summer Saudi Arabia watched as its arch rival, Iran, concluded a nuclear deal with the United States and other nations.

Meanwhile, the Islamic State continues to threaten and the war in Syria rages on. So, what’s next?

Is Saudi Arabia becoming more assertive? What are its goals? Is it a force for stability or for more conflict in the Middle East?

CCTV’s Yasser Hakim joined us with the latest from Cairo.

For Saudi Arabia, things are different from its point of view.
Khaled Batarfi, from Jeddah, joined The Heat to discuss this issue. Batarfi is a journalist and general manager with The Arab Media. He’s also assistant professor at the Prince Sultan College for Tourism and Business.

So how do others in the Middle East view Saudi Arabia? The Heat continued its discussion:

  • From Washington Abdulateef Al-Mulhim joined the program. Al-Mulhim is a daily columnist for the Saudi newspaper Al Yaum.
  • From London, Catherine Shakdam joined the discussion. Shakdam is a political analyst and commentator on Middle East issues.
  • From Dusseldorf, Adnan Tabatabai weighed in. Tabatabai is a political analyst on Iranian affairs.