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Iranian Arab soccer pitch emerges as flashpoint in Saudi-Iranian proxy war

Monday 6 April 2015
Police action in Awamiyah in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province A soccer pitch in the Iranian city of Ahvaz, home to Iran’s Arab minority, has (...)

Khamenei’s Silence: Iranian Reactions to the Nuclear Framework

Saturday 4 April 2015
Initial public statements by Iranian officials emphasize that the United States and its partners have accepted an outcome in which Tehran need not change course.
The most obvious point about the Iranian government’s response to the just-released nuclear framework is that Tehran is not treating it as a (...)

Iran’s Internal Messaging on the Nuclear Talks

Wednesday 1 April 2015
By issuing blanket calls for the lifting of all sanctions, Tehran may undermine efforts to forge, implement, and enforce a viable nuclear deal.
On March 31, senior Iranian nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi told state television that "there will be no agreement without sanctions relief." He (...)

The Arabian Crop that Transformed London

Wednesday 1 April 2015
I’m sitting in a busy Shoreditch café on a Wednesday lunchtime. It’s my first time here and I’m immediately intrigued by the quality of design and (...)

Yemen Redux: Reclaiming Stability in the Arabian Peninsula

Monday 30 March 2015
Although Washington’s strategy in Yemen has largely unraveled, U.S. officials have several options for building on the current pan-Arab intervention, bolstering the Hadi government, and addressing the causes of instability in the country.
Ongoing developments in the Gulf have dramatically underscored the disintegration of the "Yemen Model" championed by President Obama last year, (...)

Assisting the Arab Military Intervention in Yemen

Friday 27 March 2015
Washington can play a valuable behind-the-scenes role in Operation Decisive Storm, maximizing the chance that U.S. allies can prevent a Houthi takeover.
On March 26, Saudi Arabia announced the beginning of Operation Decisive Storm, the pan-Arab military operation to halt the advance of Yemen’s (...)

Saudi Arabia’s Big Gamble

Friday 27 March 2015
With a new king and a young, untested defense minister, Riyadh has plunged headlong into war in Yemen, with nothing less at stake than the kingdom’s leadership of the Arab world.
Breaking news: "War in the Middle East!" OK, fine. You’ve read this one before. But the airstrikes, troop movements, and suicide bombings that are (...)

Rouhani feels the pressure, too

Tuesday 24 March 2015
President Obama is not the only leader who feels he must deliver as the March 31 deadline nears to reach a framework for a nuclear agreement. Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, has staked his political present and future on his ability to conclude a deal.
So far, the great majority of the Iranian people are staying with him, beckoned by the promise of lifted sanctions and better economic times—not (...)

The Fall of the Ottomans

Friday 20 March 2015
‘The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East, 1914-1920’ by Eugene Rogan (Allen Lane, 512 pages, £25) The centenary of the First (...)

The al-Nour Party: A Salafi Partner in the Fight Against Terrorism?

Friday 13 March 2015
Expressions of support for the Sisi government and against terrorism can be seen as ways to bolster the party’s support base and avoid government suppression.
Although Egypt’s parliamentary elections set for March 21-22 — the first since the beginning of Abdul Fattah al-Sisi’s presidency — have been (...)

The Plight of Christians in the Middle East

Friday 13 March 2015
Supporting Religious Freedom, Pluralism, and Tolerance During a Time of Turmoil
Children hold candles during a vigil in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, on March 1, 2015, held in solidarity with Christians abducted in Syria and (...)

Iran’s Next Supreme Leader and the Nuclear Deal

Wednesday 11 March 2015
In all likelihood, Khamenei’s potentially imminent successor will be even more of a hardliner, and he could renege on a deal just as easily as the next U.S. president.
In their controversial letter to "the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran," U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton and 46 other Republican senators suggested (...)

The Most Overlooked Line in Netanyahu’s Address

Sunday 8 March 2015
One of the prime minister’s remarks suggests that a more fundamental dispute may be brewing between U.S. and Israeli intelligence over Washington’s claim that an Iran deal will provide sufficient warning of any nuclear breakout.
Since Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed Congress on Tuesday, critics and advocates have debated everything from the metaphors (...)

Can Iraq’s Army Dislodge the Islamic State?

Wednesday 4 March 2015
The just-launched Tikrit operation raises question about the relative exclusion of coalition support, the prominence of Shiite militias, the degree of Iranian involvement, and the Iraqi army’s readiness for a much more imposing campaign in Mosul.
On 1 March about 27,000 Iraqi troops commenced their attack on Tikrit, a city 150km (93 miles) north of Baghdad that has been occupied by the (...)

Iran’s Provocative Naval Exercise: Motives and Implications

Tuesday 3 March 2015
Blowing up a mock U.S. carrier was likely the Supreme Leader’s way of prodding the depressed oil market and reaffirming his role as the true arbiter of Iran’s nuclear future.
On February 25, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched its long-overdue "Great Prophet 9" naval exercise in the Strait of Hormuz (...)

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