Regional observers have generally heaved a sigh of relief that a much-feared escalation following the early-January killing of Iran’s Qassem Soleimani has been relatively muted (MEES, 3 January). Indeed, barely a week had passed before regional leaders were voicing optimism that the danger had passed.

“I think there is a wisdom that things will not escalate, and that wisdom will prevail,” UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said on 11 January at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum. This was echoed by Adnoc CEO Sultan al-Jaber, who said “I am pleased that geopolitical tensions have dissipated over the last few days and that wisdom, balance and diplomacy appear to be prevailing” (MEES, 17 January). (CONTINUED - 707 WORDS)