“Having relations with Russia is very much seen through a lens of great-power competition today and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a final straw. . . . The feeling in D.C. is you’re with us or against us.”
The protests have also had an impact on the normally divided Iranian diaspora, says April Brady, Communications Director at the Project on Middle East Democracy. She points to the release in March of the Charter of Solidarity and Alliance for Freedom, also called the Mahsa Charter, which calls for international isolation of the Islamic regime and sets forth a blueprint for a secular democratic Iran.
According to Brady, “they are not just uniting in opposition to the regime, but are building a diverse coalition, comprising activists, actresses, athletes, Kurdish leaders, the son of the former shah, and others to create a shared vision for Iran’s democratic future.”
“The idea that the Egyptian leader would potentially be providing military support to Russia…raises some very uncomfortable questions about whose side Egypt is on when it comes to not just US priorities but also European priorities.”
Slashing US economic assistance while holding mostly steady on security aid would undermine the Biden administration’s claims that it supports the Tunisian people and their democratic aspirations. “It sends a concerning message to Saied and security officials in the country that, despite their abuses, we are happy to maintain support for your institutions as long as you continue to work with us.”
“There is no way around it—this is a big deal. . . . Yes, the United States could not have brokered such a deal right now with Iran specifically, since we have no relations. But in a larger sense, China’s prestigious accomplishment vaults it into a new league diplomatically and outshines anything the U.S. has been able to achieve in the region since Biden came to office.”
“We have seen some condemnations and statements of concern from the international community, but clearly not enough to sway Saïed’s thinking. . . . Rather than shrinking, the crackdown is expanding, with more opponents of the president continuing to be summoned for questioning daily.”
“The crackdown is both shocking and, for those who have followed President Saïed’s rhetoric and actions over the past year and a half, entirely expected. . . . The arrests and charges are similar to others we have seen since Saïed’s coup, but on a new and alarmingly large scale.”