Human Rights Double Standard: Iran and Saudi Arabia
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Shireen T. Hunter
Human rights is not the only area where Saudi Arabia gets a free pass for its misdeeds. Support for terrorism is another notable area where different standards are applied to its actions. This special treatment or Saudi Arabia has served neither that country nor the international community well. It has emboldened Saudi Arabia to continue its disregard for human rights and support for terrorist groups without fear of any retaliation. Worse, it has given Saudi Arabia license to intervene militarily in neighboring countries such as Bahrain, undermine the government in Iraq, and engage in the full- scale invasion of Yemen.
Turkey No Longer a Democratic Model for the Middle East
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Ambitions of Turkey’s President Erdoğan are damaging the nation’s standing with regional and international partners. Turkey was expected to offer a democratic model for other Muslim nations in the Middle East. Instead, the country under President Recep Erdoğan is displaying familiar authoritarian tendencies, with the Kurdish minority as a special target.
What happens when Arab autocrats are left to fend for themselves? Turmoil Galore
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
James M. Dorsey
Fact of the matter is that Saudi Arabia lacks the intrinsic building blocks to retain its regional leadership status on a level playing field. It lacks the assets that countries like Iran, Turkey and Egypt have irrespective of what state of political and economic disrepair they currently may be experiencing. Those countries have large populations, diversified industrial bases, battle hardened militaries that at least at times have performed, histories of empire and geography. Saudi Arabia has Mecca and money, the latter in lesser amounts given the fall in commodity prices and heightened expenditure. Turkey, Iran and Egypt figure prominently in China’s vision of One Belt, One Road, Saudi Arabia does not.
Oman: A Peaceful Oasis in a Flaming Region
Sunday, May 22, 2016
In the midst of such critical developments, Oman still appears as a peaceful oasis aloof from developments. When the other Gulf States opposed the US-Iran nuclear deal, Oman not only supported it but also hosted the secret talks between the two governments. Its neutral position gives the country a unique advantage as a mediator.
Why Did US Seize Iran's $2b?
Friday, May 20, 2016
What looked to be a new window of detente between the US and Iran, following the signing of the Joint Comprehensive plan of Action on Iran's nuclear program has quickly turned opaque. A US decree was issued to seize $2 billion in assets belonging to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), holding Iran financially responsible for the 1983 bombing that killed 241 Marines at their barracks in the Lebanese capital, Beirut. The funds in question have been blocked since the civilian trial in the bombing began in 2011, but awaited the final legal touch to bless the blatant theft. This came when the US Supreme Court recently upheld the Congress bill, with the approval of President Barack Obama.
Croatia Links Iran To European Union
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Kaveh L. Afrasiabi
This week, a three day visit to Tehran by Croatia’s President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic is bound to deepen not only the Iran-Croatia ties but also Iran-EU relations, given Croatia’s EU status since 2013.
Iran: Waiting For The Godot Of Post-Sanctions Relief
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Kaveh L. Afrasiabi
It is now four months since the Iran nuclear accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), went into effect and, still, Iran is waiting for the promised sanctions’ relief — that are hampered by the non-nuclear western sanctions on Iran.
South Africa-Iran Agreements Signify Co-operation in More than Energy
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
South African President Jacob Zuma met with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, in Tehran on 24-25 April 2016. The two signed eight agreements mostly aimed at boosting the two countries’ trading relationship, including trade and industry, agriculture, the establishment of a Joint Investment Committee and a South Africa-Iran Business Council, water management, intelligence and counter-terrorism co-operation, energy and tourism, although no further details have yet been released.
South Korea’s New Opening To Iran
Monday, May 2, 2016
Kaveh L. Afrasiabi
What matters most for Iran at the moment is the new post-sanctions opening of South Korea to Iran, which has been unable so far to gain much advantage from the West, as a direct result of the lingering American opposition. The softening of this opposition, partly due to a recent meeting of Zarif and the US Secretary of State John Kerry in New York, might be behind Park’s visit, i.e., a good omen that Washington is giving the green light to some of its allies to restore their past healthy relationships with Iran.