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Middle East Tries to Divine the Unknowable After Trump’s Shock

  • Closer U.S. ties with Putin’s Russia might change dynamic
  • Trump has threatened to tear up the Iranian nuclear deal
Members of the Iraqi forces react as they watch the US presidential election coverage in Mosul on Nov. 9.

Members of the Iraqi forces react as they watch the US presidential election coverage in Mosul on Nov. 9.

Photographer: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP via Getty Images

As the world gets to grips with the unthinkable, the Middle East is bracing for the unknowable.

Donald Trump’s presidential election victory throws up a wild card that’s dividing opinion on whether it spells more or less trouble in a region beset by war and plunging oil revenue. His threat to bar Muslims from the U.S. reverberated around the Arab world and particularly in traditional allies like Saudi Arabia and Jordan, while he has called the nuclear deal with Iran a “disgrace.”