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Archive for the category “Middle East”

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

Examining Iran’s Role In The New Middle East

Like two hostile prisoners on the run and shackled to each other by fate, Iran and the United States continue their mutual loathing and periodic conflict. The inevitability of talking and even cooperating, however, also looms over both in a region neither can shape unilaterally. Washington and Tehran’s shared distaste for a wider military conflict and the gradual demise of the Iran nuclear agreement are again focusing attention on the path to any renewed U.S.-Iranian diplomacy.

Read Here – The National Interest

Is Containment The Correct Strategy For The Bipolar Middle East

Trump has shown great restraint in the Middle East. He did not fire back after the September attacks on Saudi oil facilities. He has given measured, proportional responses, similar to Reagan’s restraint when Iran took out an American warship in 1988. And despite a publicly confrontational posture, he has minimised the risk of escalation.

Read Here – The National Interest

New President, Old Geopolitical Nightmares

Under Donald Trump, geopolitics is back with a vengeance. For him, the United States has enemies and contingent, interest-based allies. In Trump’s world-view – more systematically articulated by him than usual in the 2017 US National Security Strategy – his predecessors forgot the hard reality that international politics is a contest for power.

Read Here – New Statesman

Four Decades Of Conflict With Iran, Explained

For four decades, the U.S. and Iran have been locked into what is essentially an ongoing, low-grade war. Since its inception in 1979, the Shiite theocracy, now run by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and a council of top clerics, has considered the U.S. the “Great Satan” — an intruder in the Middle East and a primary obstacle to the mullahs’ goal of sustaining and spreading their Shiite Islamic revolution.

Read Here – The Week

Oman Strives For Neutrality In The Middle East

In many ways, neutrality and obscurity go hand in hand in this country of 4.9 million people. The sultanate has more or less refrained from taking sides in the ever-expanding roster of Middle Eastern conflicts since Omani Sultan Qaboos bin Said al-Said ascended the throne in 1970. Therefore, Oman has had little reason to engage in the kind of headline-grabbing interventions that have often characterized American, Emirati, Iranian and Saudi foreign policy. In turn, the few outsiders who do think about Oman know it as a neutral country and a tourist destination, not as a source of conflict.

Read Here – Yale Global

Soleimani’s Ultimate Revenge

For years, Tehran’s leadership talked fatalistically about Soleimani as a “living martyr,” but it surely did not anticipate President Donald Trump’s audacious targeted killing. Now the Iranians will seek vengeance—methodical, cold-blooded, and nasty. They will look to avoid an all-out war with the United States that they cannot win. But they will also look to turn a tactical blow into a strategic boon.

Read Here – The Atlantic

What Is The Middle East In The Middle Of Anymore?

The United States is trying to square a circle, remaining strong and deterring dangerous elements, but to do so for U.S. interests—interests that increasingly seem to be fewer and fewer in the Middle East.

Read Here – American Greatness

Iran’s Imperial History Overshadows Its Future

Just who speaks for Iran? When engaging with the Islamic Republic, the international community has tended to treat the country as a monolith, a consolidated political and ideological entity presided over by an entrenched clerical elite. That, however, is hardly the case. In truth, Iran is a complex and cosmopolitan melting pot made up of multiple, competing ethnic identities kept in check by a strong central authority—but just barely.

Read Here – The National Interest

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