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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the category “Middle East”

U.S. Blames Iran For Saudi Oil Attack, Trump Says ‘Locked And Loaded’

U.S. President Donald Trump said the United States was “locked and loaded” for a potential response to the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, after a senior U.S. administration official said Iran was to blame. Trump also authorised the use of the U.S. emergency oil stockpile to ensure stable supplies after the attack, which shut 5% of world production and sent crude prices soaring more than 19% in early trade on Monday, before moderating to show a 10% gain.

Read Here – Reuters

Also Read: Saudi oil facility attacks may have come from Iraq

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Iran Rejects US Accusation Over Drone Attacks On Aramco Plants

Iran has dismissed accusations by the United States that Tehran was behind drone attacks that set ablaze two major Saudi Aramco oil installations, as Saudi Arabia raced to restore operations at the damaged facilities. Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for Saturday’s assault on Abqaiq – the world’s largest oil processing plant – and the Khurais oilfield. The pre-dawn strikes knocked out more than half of crude output from the world’s top exporter.

Read Here – Al Jazeera

The Netanyahu Show Is Finally Fizzling Out

In much of the West, Netanyahu is perceived as a tough guy, cozying up to strongmen in European capitals and to President Donald Trump in Washington, but many Israelis understand there is a good deal of bluster behind this image. Though he is now unwilling to discuss a two-state solution to the Palestinian conflict, Netanyahu has also done little to preclude it; he has authorized far less settlement construction than prime ministers who preceded him.

Read Here – Bloomberg Opinion

Israel’s Prime Minister Faces a War On Two Fronts

After publicly escalating against Israel’s enemies across the region last month, Netanyahu has had to carefully manage the cycle of responses and counter-responses. And he’s also facing a duo of internal issues: a showdown with the semi-autonomous Palestinian government and a looming corruption investigation.

Read Here – National Interest

Coercive Disclosure: Israel’s Weaponisation Of Intelligence

Conventional wisdom holds that intelligence data is collected and safeguarded to gain an advantage on the battlefield if and when war breaks out. In recent years, however, Israel has come to increasingly rely on deliberate public disclosure of intelligence data as an instrument of influence and coercion.

Read Here – WarOnTheRocks

Trump Lowers The Bar For A Deal With Iran

When President Donald Trump finally followed through on his threats and withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, it looked like he was after something far more ambitious. Shortly after the announcement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outlined 12 conditions for the U.S. to lift the sanctions  At the Group of Seven summit in France, Trump whittled down those conditions to just three.

Read Here – Bloomberg

The Strands Of Arabia: how A People And Religion Were Built On Language

“There were probably Arabs before there was Arabia,” writes Tim Mackintosh-Smith in his extraordinary new survey of these peoples. After all, what does the word “Arab” even mean? For Arabs themselves the term remains elusive: the Egyptian writer and public intellectual Taha Hussein argued that the people to whom the label applied were “in utter confusion” over its meaning.

Read Here – New Statesman

Why the Strait of Hormuz Is Still the World’s Most Important Chokepoint

The Strait of Hormuz links the majority of the world’s people who live along the shores of Asia and East Africa to the heart of the Middle East. Long before the discovery of oil, it was the world’s carotid artery. Cut off the blood supply almost anywhere else and the world would adapt. Here, however, an interruption could be fatal: 90 percent of oil exported from the Gulf, about 20 percent of the world’s supply, passes through Hormuz.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

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

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

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