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Iran and Turkey: Why two regional heavyweights need to de-escalate

Iran and Turkey: Why two regional heavyweights need to de-escalate

Kourosh Ziabari - Middle East Eye: It’s a bitter irony that Iran, a big Muslim nation located at the crossroads of the world’s energy hub, doesn’t maintain cordial relations with several major countries in the Muslim world, and in many cases, these bilateral relations have been unsteady and frosty, if not non-existent. Iran’s relations with Egypt, the most populous Arab country, have been underdeveloped and diminutive since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. A sign of change was the visit by ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi to Tehran in August 2012 to attend the 16th Non-Aligned Movement summit. The visit was reciprocated by former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who travelled to Egypt in February 2013, the...

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Tearing Up the Iran Deal Poses a Major Breach of Trust to US Partners

Tearing Up the Iran Deal Poses a Major Breach of Trust to US Partners

Kourosh Ziabari - Iran Review: While much attention is being paid to the sweeping victories gained by the real estate tycoon Donald Trump in the 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries, there are many observers of the U.S. foreign policy who share a common concern over the fate of the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, under President Barack Obama’s successor. An investigative journalist and reporter says the nuclear deal is not a bilateral agreement involving Iran and the United States, and five other nations, including some of the closest U.S. allies in NATO contributed to securing it, so a possible violation of the terms of the deal by the next American President would “pose a major...

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“Nowruz” Is Approaching Cheerfully. So, What Is Nowruz?

“Nowruz” Is Approaching Cheerfully. So, What Is Nowruz?

Kourosh Ziabari - The Huffington Post: The countdown has started for the arrival of Nowruz. For starters, Nowruz, meaning “new day” in Persian, is a festival that marks the beginning of solar New Year, and is celebrated by around 300 million people in the Middle East, West Asia, Central Asia, Caucasus and parts of Eastern Europe, even though the Iranian Diaspora enshrine and observe it wherever they happen to be, whether in New York and San Francisco or Paris and Amsterdam. Nowruz is celebrated by the people of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and other countries, but it historically hailed from the Greater Iran and continues to be its foremost national holiday. Nowruz is an ancient...

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In a Region of Division, Nowruz Brings Unity

In a Region of Division, Nowruz Brings Unity

Kourosh Ziabari - Fair Observer: The Middle East sits on a keg of gunpowder. Sectarian tensions, armed conflicts, violent extremism and foreign intervention continue to undermine the security of a region long coveted for its energy resources and geopolitical importance. Looking at the larger picture of regional developments, one can conclude that the Middle East is in dire need of peace and reconciliation before the worrying crises send it spiraling out of control. Even though the situation is so tense, the rest of the world cannot claim that it is impervious to the challenges and woes of the turbulent neighborhood. In a region marred by division and conflict, there is a unifying festival that has the potential to bind nations...

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Growth of Tehran-Washington Mutual Trust Possible Over Time: William C. Harrop

Growth of Tehran-Washington Mutual Trust Possible Over Time: William C. Harrop

Kourosh Ziabari - Iran Review: Two years of successful negotiations between Iran and the United States to achieve a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear challenge and the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action announced on January 16 verified the assumption that cooperation on the basis of mutual respect makes a reality out of what may obstinately appear impossible. Now, what has come under spotlight is the possibility for Tehran and Washington to emulate the success story of the nuclear talks and work together in other areas of shared interests, including the fight against ISIS, the security of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. A distinguished American diplomat says despite the difficulties ahead, Iran and the...

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Interview with Dr. Sara Vakhshouri on New Opportunities for Investment in Iran’s Oil and Gas Industry

Interview with Dr. Sara Vakhshouri on New Opportunities for Investment in Iran’s Oil and Gas Industry

Kourosh Ziabari - Iran Review: The introduction of the new contract model for Iran’s upstream oil and gas projects, dubbed IPC (Iran Petroleum Contract), has generated a great deal of enthusiasm among the energy experts and analysts who’ve been monitoring Iran’s market fluctuations following the imposition of sanctions on the country’s energy sector in 2011 and 2012 and the termination of those sanctions on the day of the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action earlier in January. Iran has unveiled a new package of incentives for the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to bring their capital and technology into its money-spinning energy projects, and revised the terms of the old buyback contract model set...

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Tensions Between Riyadh, Tehran Detrimental to Arab World: Prof. Madawi Al-Rasheed

Tensions Between Riyadh, Tehran Detrimental to Arab World: Prof. Madawi Al-Rasheed

Kourosh Ziabari - Iran Review: More than a month ago, the Saudi government executed 47 prisoners in a day, sending strong tremors across the Middle East. The prisoners were claimed to be al-Qaeda affiliates and terrorists behind the killing of Saudi and foreign citizens between 2003 and 2006. Among those put to death row was Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a noted Shiite cleric known for his outspoken advocacy of the rights of the underrepresented Shiite minority in the kingdom. The execution of Sheikh Nimr sparked tensions in the region, and ignited protests in Iran that culminated in a violent attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate in the northeastern city of Mashhad. In response to the embassy rampage, Saudi Arabia severed its...

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The Refugee Crisis Threatens Euro-American Economic Domination: Prof. Serena Parekh

The Refugee Crisis Threatens Euro-American Economic Domination: Prof. Serena Parekh

Kourosh Ziabari - Truth NGO: While the European Union grapples with the biggest refugee crisis since the World War II, there’s a heated debate going on as to whether taking in asylum-seekers and helping them resettle is a moral and legal responsibility which the EU countries should assume. According to the UN estimates, more than 15.5 million people have been displaced as a result of the five-year-long civil war in Syria. The refugees fleeing war and turmoil at home embrace the extreme hardships of getting to the EU borders by all means at their disposal, including through boarding on unsafely overloaded, jammed boats whose riders charge the refugees several thousand dollars, promising to take them to EU securely. However, many of...

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Iran and Britain: Bracing for a New Era of Redefined Relations

Iran and Britain: Bracing for a New Era of Redefined Relations

Kourosh Ziabari - The Huffington Post: On July 14, 2016, precisely one year following the conclusion of the landmark nuclear accord between Iran and the six major world powers, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom, British Airways, will be re-launching direct flights between London and Tehran. The service was suspended in October 2012 as the company officials believed the route was "no longer commercially viable." The decision by the British airliner to resume return flights to the Iranian capital comes on the heels of new steps taken by the governments of Iran and Britain to normalize and improve their precarious relations, which plummeted to an all-time low after the British...

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Rouhani’s charm offensive pays off in Europe and Iran

Rouhani’s charm offensive pays off in Europe and Iran

Kourosh Ziabari - Middle East Eye: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani kicked off his first official trip to Europe – excluding his journey to Davos in January 2014 to participate in the World Economic Forum – on 25 January by visiting Italy and concluded it on 29 January with the second leg of his European tour ending in France. He received a warm welcome and inked multi-billion dollar deals in both countries, making the headlines worldwide and blowing minds both at home and abroad. Visiting Europe is not by definition something unconventional or far-fetched for a foreign head of state. But for the president of a country besieged by more than a decade-long of grueling economic sanctions and inevitably ensuing political...

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Mission Accomplished: Tehran and Washington Trigger a Diplomatic Coup

Mission Accomplished: Tehran and Washington Trigger a Diplomatic Coup

Kourosh Ziabari - Fair Observer: The whole episode began in 2013 when a moderate, pragmatic cleric, popularly known as the “Diplomat Sheikh,” replaced Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the president of Iran. Hassan Rouhani, who spearheaded Iran’s nuclear negotiations with the big three in Europe under President Mohammad Khatami, won the hearts and souls of Iranians thanks to his promise of “constructive engagement” with the international community. President Rouhani was intent on ending more than a decade of political and economic isolation, originating from the international community’s goal of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons—a charge that Iranian officials had denied over and over again. The determination to...

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How Iran’s economy will look after ‘Implementation Day’

How Iran’s economy will look after ‘Implementation Day’

Kourosh Ziabari - Middle East Eye: Iran has complied with all of its technical commitments under the comprehensive deal it struck with the six world powers in July 2015 to curb certain aspects of its nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief. As a result as much as $100 billion will pour into its scrambled economy and pave the way for more to come. It has shipped out 11,000 kilograms of its enriched uranium to Russia, reduced the number of its spinning centrifuges to reach the permitted limit of 6,105 active units, and dismantled the core of the heavy water reactor in the city of Arak and filled it with cement. Now, with the verification of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general Yukiya Amano and...

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