Welcome to this latest edition of S-RM’s Regional Bulletin for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Our News in Brief section reviews some of the key news stories and developments across the region, before our first feature article examines the ongoing protests in Iran, which began in late December, and represent the largest show of public discontent against the Iranian regime since the Green Revolution of 2009. However, unlike the earlier protests, these are largely led by Iran’s working class, frustrated by rising prices and poor economic conditions. The protests demonstrate the deep divisions in the Republic that President Rouhani has to address.

Our second feature articles analyses the slow motion purge of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), which first began on 4 November with the arrest and imprisonment of more than 200 Saudi princes, ministers and businessmen on charges of corruption. Whilst around two dozen have reached financial settlements with the Saudi authorities in exchange for freedom, several are still contesting the charges. However, as the crown prince’s centralisation of power upends longstanding channels of power and patronage, his vision for remaking KSA will require all of his political skills.

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