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Archive for the tag “Iran”

The Power Struggle For The Throne And The Saudi ‘Reset’ With Trump

Ultimately, of course, policy differences, not personal ones, will matter most. Everyone in the Saudi leadership shares with the Trump administration a common view on the dangers posed by Iran. But there’s a gap in their respective positions on the war in Yemen and how the kingdom can best be extricated from it.

Read Here – Foreign Policy

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Gwadar, Chabahar And Dubai

By far, Gwadar is a decade ahead of Chabahar in terms of development and higher brand recognition among the maritime industry. Iran’s belligerent security posturing and interventionist policies of harbouring non-state actors in Muslim countries constantly put her at the risk of war as well as sanctions. Chabahar is and continues to be a fishing port and does not match Gwadar, which is a natural harbour and the deepest in Asia, with little need for continuous dredging.

Read Here – The Express Tribune

Saudis Sharpen Asian Focus With $65bn China Partnership

American disengagement from the Middle East is a factor behind Saudi Arabia’s turn to Asia. The kingdom relies on the U.S. for security. But that country needs Middle Eastern petroleum less nowadays, thanks to its exploitation of domestic shale oil and gas. Ties were further strained by the Obama administration’s overtures to Iran.

Read Here – Nikkei Asian Review

Uncertainty In Iran

In the perennial effort to deduce the likely evolution of the tumultuous relationship between the United States and Iran, all eyes today seem to be trained on Washington. This is understandable; after all, the election of Donald Trump appears to be generating a marked shift away from the Obama Administration’s eight years of seeking to engage with the Islamic Republic, in favour of a more confrontational approach.

Read Here – The Cipher Brief

Should The U.S. Maintain Its Alliance With Saudi Arabia?

It is not that the U.S. shouldn’t walk away from Saudi Arabia because it is a major oil producer and a partner in the fight against terrorism, or because the bilateral relationship has benefited Washington. The larger issue is that if Saudi Arabia is left to its own devices, it will sow more chaos in the Middle East. That is something no one needs.

Read Here – Salon

The Gates Of Hell

But why has it happened? They’re bellowing at Afghanistan, screaming blame and abuse. But the louder they yell, the more insistent the question: how have they managed to get it so wrong? Let’s talk about the boys a bit.

Read Here – Dawn

Killing Kim Jong Nam With VX Nerve Agent Crossed A ‘Red Line’

In 1995, Japan’s Aum Shinrikyo cult turned the nerve agent on a small number of its members, whom leaders believed to be police informants. On a larger scale, VX was one of the chemical weapons deployed in the Iran-Iraq war. The Kim Jong Nam case, though, would be the first VX assassination on record, and the first time chemical weapons were used to that end since a ricin pellet—fired from an umbrella gun—took Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov’s life in 1978.

Read Here – Wired

Meet The Powerful Iranian Cleric Looking To Unseat Rouhani

A new and powerful figure has joined the list of candidates among Iranian conservatives for the May presidential election: Ebrahim Raisi, a senior cleric who has gradually risen through the ranks to assume powerful positions. Born in the holy city of Mashhad in northeast Iran — home to the shrine of the eighth Shiite imam — Raisi started his career as the prosecutor general of Karaj — a city just west of the capital city, Tehran — two years after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Read Here – Al Monitor

How Trump Is Already Shifting Domestic Politics In Iran

As election season approaches with the May presidential vote around the corner, there will be more discussions of this sort among Iranian political factions. Through Khatami’s call for unity in the face of Trump’s threats as well as Rouhani’s defiant speech on Feb. 10, the moderates and the Reformists are in essence pushing to the fore the benefits of a national reconciliation. However, in response, the radical conservatives have far from welcomed such an initiative. I

Read Here – Al Monitor

The UAE’s Nuclear Push

But Iran isn’t the only reason why we might be at the beginning stages of an Arab arms race. The Saudis don’t want to be “one-upped” by the Emiratis, so they too have embarked on a very ambitious nuclear plan (especially with oil prices at around $50 a barrel), involving 16 nuclear reactors to be built by 2032.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

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