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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the category “Middle East”

The Godfather Of The Islamic Republic Of Iran

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s 30-year reign at the helm of Iran reveals a dual Machiavellian modus-operandi as supreme leader—puppeteer for the elected and patron for the unelected—and explains the current power dynamic in Tehran.

Read Here – The National Interest

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How Modi Turned The Gulf To His Favour

Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi meeting the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit, in Osaka. Photo/PIB

So why did the Islamic powers in the Gulf embrace Modi over the past five years despite presumptions suggesting otherwise? The answer lies more within the interests of the Gulf nations itself than Modi government’s outreach, which however successfully lassoed in the interest of these cash-rich states looking towards the Indian economy to secure their own future financial interests, as regional behemoths such as Saudi Arabia start their attempts to shake-off a decades long addiction to the petro-dollar.

Read Here – ORFOnline

This Isn’t About Iran. It’s About China

Geography tells a more important story in the Gulf region: The current tensions are less about Iran and the Persian Gulf than about China and the Indian Ocean. Whether the Trump administration realizes it or not, what is occurring in the American-Iranian standoff is about something much vaster.

Read Here – The New York Times

Taking On Tehran

Forty years after the revolution that ousted the Shah, Iran’s unique political-religious system and government appears strong enough to withstand US pressure and to ride out the country’s current economic difficulties. So how should the US minimize the risks to the region posed by the regime?

Read Here – Project Syndicate

Attacking Iran Would Unleash Chaos On The Middle East

Undeterred by decades of carnage and the disastrous outcomes of prior conflicts, ideologues within the Trump administration are clamouring for military action against Iran. The exact basis for this escalation varies. There is little doubt that Osama bin Laden would have loved to see the United States attack and overthrow another of Al Qaeda’s enemies, this time the Shia mullahs of Iran.

Read Here – The National Interest

A Tanker War In The Middle East—Again?

Tensions in the Gulf are an eerie echo of the tanker war that erupted in the late eighties during the eight-year conflict between Iraq and Iran. The tanker war was launched in 1984, when Iraq attacked Iran’s oil terminal and oil tankers at Kharg Island, in the northern Persian Gulf. Iran responded by striking tankers—initially from Kuwait and later from other nations—that ferried Iraqi oil.

Read Here – The New Yorker

Is The United States Baiting Iran Into A War?

With armed forces on both sides on high alert, additional American naval and aerial hardware newly arrived in theater, and Saudi Arabia having pounded the Iranian-backed Houthi rebel force in Yemen for its attack on a major Saudi oil pipeline, there remains not only the potential for an unintended clash or misfire, but also a worrying threat that misperception may lead to conflict.

Read Here – The National Interest

Iran’s Other Generation Gap, 40 Years On

As the Islamic Republic enters its fifth decade, keeping the revolution “alive” will depend on the ability of its image-makers not only to appeal to a younger population that wants change but also to build consensus among members of the younger generation within the regime’s own ranks. The task before the Islamic Republic is to win over a broad cross section of its citizens while simultaneously defining what shape its revolutionary project, and its state apparatus, will take over the long term.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Saudi Arabia’s Hold On Pakistan

Since the 1970s, Saudi Arabia has exercised enormous influence on Pakistan behind the scenes through its funding of Ahl-e-Hadith and Deobandi madrassas (religious seminaries), which teach a more puritanical version of Islam than had traditionally been practiced in Pakistan.

Read Here – Brookings

Saudi Arabia: The World’s Largest Arms Importer From 2014-2018

Saudi Arabia became the world’s largest arms importer from 2014 to 2018, accounting for 12 percent of the imports, an increase of 192 percent over 2009-2013, according to the latest report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). According to data for 2018, the United States continued to supply the bulk of arms to Saudi Arabia, accounting for 88 percent of all arms sold to the country.

Read Here – Al Jazeera

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