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Archive for the tag “Arabian Gulf”

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

India Gets Access To Key Omani Port; Chabahar And Gwadar In Sight

India and Oman signed a key pact that extends dry docking and other facilities to Indian naval ships in the strategically located Gulf country. It can be seen as a move that bolsters India’s strategy to counter Beijing in the Indian Ocean region where it is increasingly making inroads. The two countries have also agreed to hold joint military exercises to shore up their defence partnership, a day after India announced its first naval exercises with another Gulf partner, the United Arab Emirates.

Read Here – Mint

A Dangerous Gulf In The Horn: How The Inter-Arab Crisis Is Fuelling Regional Tensions

The Gulf and the Horn are intricately intertwined regions that face common threats and vulnerabilities: armed conflict, transnational jihadism and organised crime, including piracy, human trafficking and money laundering. The current crisis comes at a difficult moment for the historically conflict-prone Horn, much of which is either politically unstable, mired in internal armed conflict or still in a state of fragile post-conflict recovery.

Read Here – International Crisis Group

Turning New Page In The Gulf?

Iran is moving to improve relations with Saudi Arabia and end a conflict with the United Arab Emirates over islands in the Persian Gulf after signing an agreement last month to end a deadlock over its nuclear program.

Read Here – Bloomberg

Sleepless In Middle East

The problem for King Abdullah and the other members of the House of Saud, as well as most Saudis, is that they don’t trust Iran in the diplomatic sphere and they don’t trust Shiites religiously.

Read Here – The Atlantic

The Looming Power Vacuum

Despite the administration’s hype of President Obama’s “historic” 15-minute phone call with the ostensibly moderate Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, the looming prospect of direct engagement with the regime in Tehran over its nuclear weapons program, and all the other symptoms of Rouhani fever gripping Washington, the White House says it won’t be suckered by the Iranians. American allies aren’t buying it.

Read Here – The Weekly Standard

China’s String of Pearls?

The New York Times recently reported that China apparently has agreed to take over the operations of a $200 million port it built for Pakistan in Gwadar, on the Indian Ocean close to the Iranian border and close to the entrance to the Persian Gulf. We’ll see if this actually happens. If it does, it will be geopolitically significant. To a greater degree than other Indian Ocean ports that China has either built, helped finance or upgraded, Gwadar is plagued by considerable security problems, as I found out during a visit there in 2008. It is in a remote region of Pakistan affected by Baloch separatism.

Read Here – Stratfor

The IAEA and Iran’s Face-Saving Solution

Senior officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will meet with Iranian counterparts in Tehran on December 13. The IAEA is prepared to visit a building located at Parchin, a site that Iran says is a conventional military facility but where the IAEA believes Tehran may have carried out tests related to the development of nuclear arms.

If the IAEA does not ask questions about what happened at Parchin and some other sites where it believes Iran carried out nuclear-weapons-related work in the past, it will be easier for Iran to cut a deal with the United States and other powers to end the Iranian nuclear crisis. But such an agreement with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany (P5+1) will be less effective in detecting whether Iran in the future is secretly developing nuclear arms.


Read Here – Carnegie Endowment


Ahmadinejad Under Attack at Home and Away as Departure Nears

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes his final appearance at the United Nations this week as a leader vilified abroad and with dwindling popularity at home. With nine months left before his final term expires, Ahmadinejad, 55, presides over an economy hobbled by European and U.S.-led sanctions and a currency collapse that’s firing inflation. As Israel repeatedly warns that it may bomb Iran to stop it getting atomic weapons, Ahmadinejad’s last speech to the UN on Sept. 26 may highlight his growing isolation.

Read Here – Bloomberg

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