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Archive for the category “Middle East”

The Jockeying Has Begun For Iran’s Post-Khamenei Leadership

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is now 81-years old. While his health remains a closely guarded secret, his past medical history, age, and the deaths in recent years of other senior leaders have led Iranians to start considering what a post-Khamenei Islamic Republic might look like. There are two main contenders to succeed Khamenei: his 51-year-old son, Mojtaba, and Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi.

Read Here – The National Interest

Saudi Gravy Train Derailed By Low Oil Prices

The era of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, launched with the promise of largesse, is now likely to go down in history as a period of unprecedented belt-tightening. The 34-year-old known as MBS, already set on reducing his kingdom’s dependence on oil, has now found the insurance offered by the precious commodity pulled out from under his feet.

Read Here – Asia Times

The Ghost Airline

In 1979, Israel and Egypt signed a historic peace treaty, overseen by the United States, which inaugurated diplomatic relations between the two countries and made Egypt the first Arab nation to recognise the State of Israel. Air Sinai, founded in 1982, fulfils a term in the treaty that had to be implemented within three years of signing: the two countries must maintain active civilian aviation routes—meaning there always had to be a direct flight between Israel and Egypt. It just didn’t have to be public.

Read Here – Atlas Obscura

Could The Covid Crash Spark Another Arab Spring?

They said we were going to uncouple from the Middle East. Barack Obama, they said, was going to pivot to Asia. Donald Trump was, finally, going to get the United States the hell out of there. Intellectually, politically and, most importantly of all, militarily, we were going to put this most vexatious of regions behind us. It was, they assured us, a new day. They were wrong.

Read Here – Spectator

How Could Coronavirus Affect Wars In The Arab World?

With cases of the novel coronavirus confirmed in Syria, Libya and Yemen in recent weeks, there are rising fears of potential mass outbreaks in war zones in the Arab world. Rights groups and experts have predicted that a mass COVID-19 outbreak in Middle Eastern countries mired in conflict could have devastating humanitarian consequences, as years of war have left healthcare systems decimated.

Read Here – AlJazeera

The Coronavirus Threatens Saudi Arabia’s Global Ambitions

Despite the obvious public health benefits of suspending the umrah and hajj, Saudi Arabia will pay a heavy cost for its prudence. Pilgrims bring in billions of dollars to the country every year, so the Saudi economy will suffer as long as the crisis lasts. Another loss is less quantifiable, but just as significant: pilgrimage remains one of the kingdom’s most important soft-power instruments after two decades during which its public image has deteriorated.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

With Their Patron In Coronavirus Peril, Where Do Iran’s Proxy Groups Go From Here?

As Iran struggles to end its troubles at home, its proxies and allies in the Middle East have sought to deal with this health crisis in their own way. In some cases, this has led to decisive action, and in others, it has meant undermining any attempt to “flatten the curve”, as slowing the virus’s spread has become known in popular parlance.

Read Here – The National

Europe Is Offering Iran Aid, And A Chance To Restore Its Relationship With The World

The delivery of the first batch of European aid to Iran this week does not only represent a lifeline to the regime in Tehran as it attempts to tackle the deadly impact of the coronavirus pandemic. It also presents Iran with the opportunity to begin the painful process of rebuilding relations with the outside world.

Read Here – The National

Iran Seeks IMF Help For First Time Since The Shah

Iran said it had asked the IMF for its first loan since the time of the Shah to combat a coronavirus outbreak that has claimed 429 lives and infected more than 10,000 people. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced the request on Twitter, calling on the International Monetary Fund to “stand on the right side of history.”

Read Here – Asia Times

Netanyahu Scrabbles His Way To One Of His Biggest Victories

Nearly 70 polls had predicted that Israel’s March 2 election would produce something reminiscent of Bill Murray’s classic movie “Groundhog Day” — a seemingly endless time loop of political stalemate, dysfunction and yet another election following the previous two last April and September. Instead, the Israeli voting public gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu perhaps one of his greatest victories.

Read Here – CNN

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