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Archive for the category “Middle East”

Iran Jolts India To Activate US Sanctions Loophole

A big question is if Iran can indeed play both sides and somehow accommodate the interests of both China and India simultaneously, particularly if India continues to closely align its foreign policy with Iran’s chief rivals, the US and Israel, and is embroiled in an intractable competition with China.

Read Here – Asia Times

Saving The Iran Nuclear Deal

Five years after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was concluded, it is on life support, following the US’s reinstatement of sanctions and Iran’s return to enrichment activities. Before two decades of diplomacy are squandered, all parties involved must step back from the precipice.

Read Here – Project Syndicate

China Inks Military Deal With Iran Under Secretive 25-Year Plan

One of the secret elements of the deal signed last year is that China will invest US$280 billion in developing Iran’s oil, gas, and petrochemicals sectors. This amount will be front-loaded into the first five-year period of the new 25-year deal, and the understanding is that further amounts will be available in each subsequent five year period, provided that both parties agree.

Read Here – OilPrice.com

China’s Next Military Move: A Base In The Persian Gulf?

For the past half-century, the United States has essentially dominated international waters in the Persian Gulf uncontested by any Great Power. As in the South China Sea and in the Bab el-Mandeb, however, Xi may have ambitions to challenge the United States and assert its military influence over yet another strategic chokepoint.

Read Here – The National Interest

World Rebukes U.S. Over Iran

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sought to reassert America’s waning influence on the world stage, challenging the U.N. Security Council to extend a U.N. arms embargo that is due to expire in October. Instead, America’s top diplomat received a scolding from friends and foes alike in the 15-nation council, which roundly criticised Washington for withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal two years ago without a clear plan to limit Tehran’s nuclear activities.

Read Here – Foreign Policy

China May Pose Greater Challenge To US hegemony In Mideast Than Russia

The top US military commander for operations in the Middle East said that China’s economic influence in the Middle East may one day pose a greater challenge to US strategic interests than Russia in the region, even as the Kremlin seeks a wider military presence in Syria and Libya.

Read Here – Al Monitor

 

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

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