Middle East

Scoop: U.S. pushing Arab states on non-belligerence pacts with Israel

Netanyahu, Trump and Pence at the White House. Photo: Michael Reynolds - Pool/Getty Images

The White House approached several Arab states to encourage them to reach non-belligerence agreements with Israel, according to Israeli, Arab and U.S. sources.

Why it matters: One of the Trump administration’s main goals in the Middle East has been to promote the normalization of ties between Israel and the Gulf states. Non-belligerence agreements are an interim step between the secret relations Israel has with those countries now and full diplomatic relations.

Expert Voices

Iranian government meets growing protests with harsher crackdown

protestors surround a burning motorcycle in a street intersection
Protesters in Isfahan, Iran, on Nov. 16, 2019. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has likened the recent wave of protests to a “vast, very dangerous and planned conspiracy,” but, in fact, the demonstrations reflect growing shifts among the people of Iran and in neighboring countries.

The big picture: Khamenei and the rest of the regime have long pointed a finger abroad when under strain at home. But they're now facing greater pressure and responding with firmer tactics, including the use of lethal force under the cover of an internet blackout.