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Soccer incidents call into question fundaments of Saudi-Iranian detente

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  By James M. Dorsey The Turbulent World with James M. Dorsey depends on the support of its readers. If you believe that the column and podcast add value to your understanding and that of the broader public, please consider becoming a paid subscriber by clicking on the subscription button at http://www.jamesmdorsey.substack.com and choosing one of the subscription options. Thank you. To watch a video version of this story on YouTube please click  here. An audio podcast is available on Soundcloud. Two recent soccer incidents suggest that beyond optics little has changed in the Saudi-Iranian rivalry since China mediated the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries a year ago. Iran’s top security official Ali Shamkhani, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and Musaid Al Aiban, Saudi Arabia’s national security adviser, posing for a photo after Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed in Beijing to resume bilateral diplomatic ties   China. Photo: Chinese Foreign Ministry/An

Israel puts Qatar in the crosshairs as Hamas reasserts itself in Gaza.

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  To watch a video version of this story on YouTube please click  here. An audio podcast is available on Soundcloud. With the Gaza ceasefire and prisoner exchange talks stalled, Israel and its hardline US supporters have stepped up long-standing efforts to discredit Qatar, the main mediator between Hamas and the Israeli government. The anti-Qatar campaign accuses the Gulf state, of forging relations with problematic groups and supporting the likes of Hamas and the Taliban as part of its conflict mediation policy, even though those relationships were encouraged by the United States and, in the case of Hamas, Israel . The stepped-up efforts coincide with Israel effectively walking away from Qatari, Egyptian, and US efforts to negotiate a pro-longed ceasefire in the four-month-old Gaza war and a prisoner exchange that would free the remaining 136 Hamas-held Israeli hostages and the bodies of captives killed during the war. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a jo

Crunch time may be around the corner as Gaza ceasefire talks stall.

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  By James M. Dorsey The Turbulent World with James M. Dorsey depends on the support of its readers. If you believe that the column and podcast add value to your understanding and that of the broader public, please consider becoming a paid subscriber by clicking on the subscription button at http://www.jamesmdorsey.substack.com and choosing one of the subscription options. Thank you. To watch a video version of this story on YouTube please click  here. An audio podcast is available on Soundcloud . Increasingly, the Biden administration links a Gaza ceasefire and a prisoner exchange to broader regional objectives, including Saudi recognition of Israel and the semblance of a pathway to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. President Joe Biden in White House with members of Congress Photo: Evan Vucci/AP That is easier said than done, particularly given the time limitations imposed by the US presidential election in November and the likely prospect of an election in Israel