Below are the takeaways from the week:
Iran’s hardliners may call for the parliamentary questioning of increasingly senior members of the Rouhani administration, including President Hassan Rouhani and his first vice president, if Iran’s economy does not improve. Hardliners continue to push for changes to the Rouhani administration after the removal of the Central Bank head and the resignation of the government spokesperson.
Read Nicholas Carl’s “Iran’s Hardliners Will Be the First Winners of the Protest Movement.”
Saudi Arabia is attempting to build international support for the operation to recapture al Hudaydah port from the al Houthi movement. Saudi Arabian companies halted oil shipments through the Bab al Mandab Strait after an al Houthi attack on a Saudi oil vessel and Saudi media has increased reporting on cross-border al Houthi attacks. Saudi officials pledged resilience after a similar attack on an oil vessel in April. The al Houthi movement declared a unilateral ceasefire in the Red Sea that could be extended if the coalition reciprocates, possibly to preempt additional international pressure.
Read CTP’s June Yemen Crisis Situation Report where we warned of an al Houthi asymmetric retaliation against Saudi-led coalition countries.
The outcome of the Pakistani election may undermine America’s South Asia strategy. Imran Khan’s party won the majority of seats in Pakistan’s general election, and Khan will almost certainly be the next Prime Minister. Khan is less likely to limit the Pakistani military’s support for militant groups in Afghanistan. Groups like the U.S.-designated Haqqani Network will attempt to undermine U.S.-backed peace efforts with the Taliban. Khan will also likely allow some Salafi-jihadi groups to maintain a base in Pakistan due to his connection to fundamentalist leaders.
Read Frederick W. Kagan’s “Trump outlines the foundation of a changed approach in Afghanistan.”