Seyyed Abbas Araghchi
Iran’s deputy Foreign Minister says none of the negotiating parties have any interest in extending the talks after the deadline.
For Iran, the story is different; Iran is following Saudi’s prices cut trend because its crude oil type is very close to Saudi’s and for being able to compete with Saudi oil in the same markets, it has to offer same amounts of discounts. Not only Iran but also UAE and Iraq also started to reduce their prices. That’s the rational decision to make in order to be able to compete and survive in the same market.
It should be noted that although some analysts believe that each and every measure taken by the ISIS is based on a clear theory and plan, existing evidence and the reality on the ground prove that the situation in the region is too complicated to be simply blamed on a hidden hand with a clear-cut and predefined field of activity. As a result, it is possible that coordinated pursuit of conflicting goals such as fighting the ISIS and toppling Assad simultaneously, would finally lead to a permanent and spiraling crisis in the Middle East; a crisis which if not quenched is sure to afflict other parts of the world.
The ball is now in the United States’ court. Iran has been as resilient as possible throughout the nuclear talks. The country has undergone strict supervision, controls and limitations during the past nine month, which have been confirmed by four reports that Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano has released in this period.
Unfortunately, with the intercalation of new elements in the scene, i.e., the Kurdish and the ethnic factors, all regional players succumbed to a form of paralysis with few options at hand, and thus the whole region is susceptible to further schism and deeper ordeals until everyone realizes that no one will be immune from the ramifications of this scourge.
As most analysts had already predicted, air strikes against the positions taken by the ISIS terrorist group have failed to deal serious blows to this group and now the Kurdish town of Kobani in Syria is on the verge of falling into the hands of the ISIS. The fall of this town will further increase the strategic depth of this group and will make it more difficult for international community to put an end to the Islamic State declared by this group.
The remarks made by Vice President of the United States Joe Biden in October 2014 at Harvard University, in which he blamed the United States’ regional allies – including Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – for the empowerment of the ISIS terrorist group, elicited stern protests from Turkey and the UAE. As a result, Biden made phone calls to leaders of those countries to offer his official apology.
There is no doubt that Saudis are by no means willing to see Houthis grasp the power and substitute the Muslim Brotherhood in Yemen. Riyadh considers Ansarullah movement as a potential rival which has been only given more latitude to act in order to dismiss another potential rival of Saudi Arabia from power in Yemen. Therefore, Riyadh’s silence can by no means be taken as a sign of its consent to what is going on in its southern neighbor.
Mohammad Saleh Sadaghian
Recent developments in Yemen have progressed in such a way that despite conclusion of an agreement between opposition groups and the government, Houthis and Ansarullah forces – who are affiliated to Houthi tribe – succeeded to take control of the capital.
Hamid Reza Kamali
The two countries have owned up to the fact that both of them have powerful pressure tools and leverage in the region. When two political players in a sensitive region like the Middle East consider each other of having high political capability, it proves that they have accepted each other as major regional powers. Therefore, they have actually forged a certain form of threat balance on the basis of political principles. However, both countries should be very careful not to turn into dead heroes in the heat of this regional game.