Articles tagged with: Middle East
The Iranian regime’s presidential election, which is scheduled for June 14, took several dramatic turns late May when the Guardian Council disqualified former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who had surprised everyone by standing in for the elections. In the theocratic regime of Iran, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei holds absolute power and ultimate authority on all matters relating to foreign policy and national security, including the nuclear file.
Russia is insisting it reserves the right to supply anti-aircraft missiles to the Syrian government, claiming it is a key deterrent against foreign intervention, as the EU lifted its arms embargo against the opposition. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov didn’t say whether Russia has yet shipped any of the long-range S-300 air defense missile systems, but added that Moscow isn’t going to abandon the deal despite strong Western and Israeli criticism.
The White House accused Syria’s government for the first time, April 25, of using chemical weapons in its civil war, but administration officials called for a broader United Nations investigation and edged away from saying Damascus had crossed a “red line” that might trigger U.S. intervention.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized late March to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ending a nearly three-year-long feud in a phone call brokered by President Barack Obama. Obama said that “the timing was right” for Israel and Turkey to begin repairing diplomatic relations, which were frozen when Israeli naval commandos raided a Turkish ship, Mavi Marmara, that was attempting to break an Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip; nine Turkish nationals on board were killed.
A generation of Syrian children may be “scarred for life” due to the unrelenting violence, displacement and damage to essential services caused by the Syrian conflict, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned in a report released late March.
The US President told an audience of some 2,000 young Israelis in Jerusalem that “the only way for Israel to endure and thrive as a Jewish and democratic state is through the realization of an independent and viable Palestine.”
Now that a consensus is forming that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s days are numbered, diplomats and Middle East experts say a troubling picture is emerging of the perils expected to confront the war-racked nation after he’s gone.
Abbas’ effort to get more backing at the United Nations may be the last, best hope to keep the idea of negotiations toward two states alive. Obama and Netanyahu would be wise to support it (and try to shape it) while taking the spotlight off Gaza.
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi had a problem with the country’s judges, who came to office under former dictator Hosni Mubarak and who he feared were going to shut down the assembly that is drafting a new constitution.
The US has said it will back Lebanese efforts to form a new coalition as tension rises sparked by the killing of security chief Wissam al-Hassan in a deadly bombing. US state department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland warned a power vacuum would pose a great risk to stability, according to a BBC report.