The Health of Presidential Candidates and Consequences on the World of Politics
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
In present international circumstances, and given the instabilities and crises in some parts of the world and specially the Middle East, the absence of an integrated and cohesive decision making focal point in a world power, even for a short span, can exacerbate the circumstances in sensitive regions. Besides, in this situation, some of US friendly allies in the region may take dangerous actions. Moreover, even the European allies of the United States will face uncertain conditions being unable to take coherent and integrated policies.
Oppression in the Hijaz – How Al-Saud Stole Islam’s Pilgrimage and Capitalised a Faith
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Ever since the House of Saud claimed for itself the title of Custodian of the two Holy Mosques: Mecca and Medina, pilgrims have seen their rights and to a great extent their faith, hijacked by Wahhabism – a violent and ascetic interpretation of Islam which dogmatism was rejected by Sunni Islam’s most prominent authority, the Grand Mufti of al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al–Tayeb earlier this September.
What of Iranian Soft Power?
Friday, September 9, 2016
Sam Sasan Shoamanesh
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the Iran nuclear deal), concluded in July 2015 between Iran, the P5+1 and the EU, which received UN Security Council backing through Resolution 2231 and resulted in the lifting of economic sanctions on Iran, was not only a major success for Iranian diplomacy, but also boosted Iran’s soft-power credentials as a real player in the preservation of international peace and security (through peaceful means). That deal has created a golden opportunity internationally – and political space domestically – for the government in Tehran to devise and implement a comprehensive strategy to project soft power in a way that both mitigates the regional security dilemma and serves the national advantage.
De-Escalating Tensions Between US And Iran
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Kaveh L. Afrasiabi
One way to de-escalate tensions between Iran and US in Persian Gulf is to seek an incident at sea agreement, whereby more channels of communications between US and Iranian navies would be set up, perhaps for a limited duration that can be extended after an initial experimentation by both sides. The key advantage of such an agreement is, of course, the minimization of accidental warfare, which can set global oil prices skyrocketing.
A Glimpse on International Oil Markets
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Though, the importance of Middle East and its rich oil resources and in spite of developing new sources of energy in other parts of the world, US and other major oil consumers will not easily leave this important and strategic region alone. As already mentioned, since the world oil markets are the most unstable one, so all oil rich regions of the world are always vitally needed for the consumers, particularly those in the West.
From Moscow’s Perspective, Iran Needs Russia More Than Russia Needs Iran
Monday, August 29, 2016
Mark N. Katz
From Moscow’s viewpoint, Russia and Iran share two important common interests in the Middle East: both oppose the increase of American influence, and both also oppose the rise of Sunni jihadist forces. If anything, though, Moscow fears the rise of Sunni jihadists more than American influence. So while Moscow considers Shi’a Iran a strong ally against the Sunni jihadists, it also sees all other Middle Eastern actors that oppose this force as partners—including Israel, the military-backed Sisi government in Egypt, various Kurdish forces, and the Erdogan government in Turkey (especially after the failed coup attempt).
Impotent Rage of Washington
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
The US and its allies have once again demonstrated that their foreign policy is not aimed at resolving the long-term Syrian crisis but boosting their own interests in the region. Washington not only provides military assistance to so-called moderate Syrian opposition, that has been repeatedly condemned for war crimes, but also launched information offensive against its geopolitical rivals in the Middle East, Russia and Iran, who successfully fight against terrorism in Syria.
Erdogan in Russia—No Turning Point
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Graham E. Fuller
Barely more than a few weeks after the failed coup in Turkey, President Erdogan surprised the world by turning up for a meeting in Saint Petersburg with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Many observers in the West view the event darkly, as a sign that perhaps Erdogan is now making a strategic about-face to embrace Russia. This meeting, while coming fast on the heels of the coup, does not really represent a great surprise and should not be viewed as some sinister new departure in Turkey’s strategic posture.
US and the Failed Turkish Coup
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Kaveh L. Afrasiabi
Although the US has adamantly denied any role in the coup and President Obama has stood behind a tall wall of denial, there is a growing consensus in Turkey and elsewhere in the Middle East that the US engineered the coup, not so much to dethrone but rather to weaken Erdogan and to put a qualitative brake on his omnibus of new Syrian policy.
Soft Power in the Middle East: The Invisible Skirmish
Monday, August 8, 2016
The Middle East remains of major geostrategic importance. Global powers found in the recent developments an opportunity to chart their way into the region; sending troops and reinforcements, rebuilding alliances and restoring old relations. Amidst this chaotic environment, a number of regional forces opted to adopt a different approach: soft power. It is obvious that such forces have found in soft power an efficient tool that can achieve what tanks and jets failed to do. In this article, two soft power models in the Middle East are assessed and analysed: Iran and Oman.