Posts tagged : "Middle East"

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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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Daesh is Daesh: Neither Iran nor Saudi Arabia resembles this death cult

Daesh is Daesh: Neither Iran nor Saudi Arabia resembles this death cult

Kourosh Ziabari - Middle East Eye: An opinion article recently published in Middle East Eye drew an analogy between the self-proclaimed Islamic State (Daesh), and my country, Iran. The author argued that Daesh’s ideology, worldview and modus operandi closely resonate with those of Iran. The argument went that if the people who are alarmed by the atrocities of IS would like to imagine what will happen if this death squad establishes a real, fully fledged “state”, they’d better look at Iran. I am familiar with the previous works of the author and can confidently assert that he is an accomplished and well-spoken writer and analyst. He has penned many interesting articles, including on such crucial issues such as Islamophobia,...

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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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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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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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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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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 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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Is Iran’s Ahmadinejad seeking a comeback?

Is Iran’s Ahmadinejad seeking a comeback?

Kourosh Ziabari - Middle East Eye: Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is still being harshly criticised in public, especially by the pro-reform, outspoken officials of President Hassan Rouhani's administration. Rouhani, a centrist cleric, has himself opted to keep a restrained, inconspicuous stance in regard to the policies of the previous administration. However, several high-profile figures in Rouhani’s cabinet do not shy away from candidly chiding Ahmadinejad over a number of issues: from his adventurous, outlandish foreign policy to his economic mismanagement, which pushed the country to the brink of bankruptcy. The First Vice-President of Iran Eshaq Jahangiri has said Ahmadinejad squandered $950 billion of...

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Why Iran and Saudi Arabia need to slam on the brakes

Why Iran and Saudi Arabia need to slam on the brakes

Kourosh Ziabari - Middle East Eye: Tensions between Iran and the Arab world – not just Saudi Arabia – are spiralling out of control. The execution of the prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr by the Saudi government and the subsequent eruption of anger in Iran, the largest Shia country in the world, marked by the unwarranted assault by a mob of hardliners on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and its consulate in northeastern city of Mashhad, has resulted in a dismal diplomatic rupture distancing Iran from the Arab world further. In response to the violent attack on the Saudi diplomatic offices in Iran, in which the fanatics – described by President Hassan Rouhani as "a group of headstrongs"– caused destruction to the...

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