Interviews

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There Are No Clear Winners in the Saudi War on Yemen: Prof. Charles Schmitz

There Are No Clear Winners in the Saudi War on Yemen: Prof. Charles Schmitz

Kourosh Ziabari - Fair Observer: When Saudi Arabia and a coalition of its regional partners embarked on a military campaign against Yemen in March 2015, it was hardly predictable that the war would drag on for more than a year and morph into a humanitarian crisis. The emergency is characterized by massive civilian casualties, displacement of citizens, nationwide water and fuel shortages and deepening poverty in the already-impoverished country. Saudi military engagement was a response to an uprising by the Shiite Houthis in northern Yemen trying to push the government of Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi from power. In late March, UNICEF warned that some 320,000 Yemeni children faced the risk of life-threatening malnutrition, while 82% of...

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Key Reasons for the Unchecked Growth of Terrorism in the Middle East: Interview with Prof. Jeffrey Haynes

Key Reasons for the Unchecked Growth of Terrorism in the Middle East: Interview with Prof. Jeffrey Haynes

Kourosh Ziabari - Iran Review: It’s said that ISIS has recently conceded significant parts of the territories it used to dominate since 2014. Rebels and Daesh militants have been driven out of the northern parts of Syria through the combined effect of separate operations by pro-government forces and the U.S. and Russian airstrikes. Foreign Policy reports that at the end of 2014, ISIS ruled over around one-third of Iraq and one-third of Syria, but now, according to IHS Jane’s 360, they’ve lost 22% of that territory. With the major losses in territory it has suffered and the diminution of its fighters, ISIS still poses a valid threat to peace and security not only in the Middle East but across the world, and it’s imperative to...

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Ambassador Peter Jenkins: This American Rose Is Sick

Ambassador Peter Jenkins: This American Rose Is Sick

Kourosh Ziabari - Iran Review: The Iran nuclear deal, popularly known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, has been widely lauded as a historic understanding that untangled an apparently intractable dilemma spanning over more than a decade, and opened broad new prospects for Iran and the international community to collaborate with no specter of distrust and confrontation around the corner. The global media and Iran pundits are diligently probing the different dimensions of the landmark deal and how it affects Iran’s connections with the outside world. At the same time, the JCPOA signed last summer constitutes an invariable theme in the U.S. presidential candidates’ debates and speeches these days. The Republican nominee...

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ISIS, An Important Wake-up Call about Arab World’s Problems and Deficiencies: Interview with Rami G. Khouri

ISIS, An Important Wake-up Call about Arab World’s Problems and Deficiencies: Interview with Rami G. Khouri

Kourosh Ziabari - Iran Review: The Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) is referred to as the richest terrorist organization in the world. In 2015, it earned $2.4 billion through oil exports and illegal taxation and extortion from the desperate people living under its harrowing rule. Defeating the ISIS terrorists militarily appears to be a daunting task, and people hesitate to call the annihilation of ISIS an easily-reachable and plausible target, at least for the time being when the international community is divided on whom to support and whom to fight in Syria, and the influential actors pursue apparently conflicting interests. The latest estimates by the U.S. intelligence community put the number of ISIS recruits at 25,000,...

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Iran Nuclear Deal Is One of the Most Positive Signs in the Whole Region: Lord Alderdice

Iran Nuclear Deal Is One of the Most Positive Signs in the Whole Region: Lord Alderdice

Kourosh Ziabari - Iran Review: On April 27, the 7th United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Global Forum wrapped up in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku. More than 3,500 participants from across the globe, including some 150 young leaders from nearly 100 countries attended the 3-day international gathering, exploring the venues for creating inclusive societies and promoting representative democracy to realize global peace and sustainable development. The UNAOC Global Forum was attended by several dignitaries from different nations, including incumbent and former heads of government and state, foreign ministers, parliamentarians, UN officials, academicians, public figures and other luminaries. In panels and plenary sessions, the speakers...

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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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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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The IPC Terms Demonstrate a Big Improvement on Iran’s Old Oil Contract Model

The IPC Terms Demonstrate a Big Improvement on Iran’s Old Oil Contract Model

Kourosh Ziabari - Iran Review: Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum has recently introduced a new set of contracts for its upstream projects to draw international investment and rehabilitate the country’s injured oil and gas industry. The removal of sanctions placed on Iran over its nuclear program is imminent, and with the implementation of the comprehensive nuclear deal concluded in July 2015, international firms will be once more allowed to invest in Iran’s profitable energy projects. Oil and gas experts believe the new formula for the energy contracts, known as Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC), boasts many enticing provisions and persuasive advantages, including the exclusion of “buyback system” that had been in place for about...

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Donald Trump’s Comments Are Inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution: Tayyib Rashid

Donald Trump’s Comments Are Inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution: Tayyib Rashid

Kourosh Ziabari - Truth NGO: The incendiary statement made by the Republican U.S. presidential contender Donald Trump in December 2015, who called for the “complete shutdown” of all Muslims from entering the United States, provoked outrage and dismay across the world and underlined the rise of an Islamophobic trend in the campaign season rhetoric in America. Many American Muslims reacted to Trump’s comments by saying that his prejudiced conviction was unconstitutional and un-American and ran counter to the principle of freedom of religion sustained in the First Amendment. Prior to that, Donald Trump had called for the profiling of American Muslims in special databases and demanded that they should carry identification cards...

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