Debilitating hostility between Saudi Arabia and Iran is about lots of things, not least who will have the upper hand in a swath of land stretching from Central Asia to the Atlantic coast of Africa. While attention is focused on ensuring that continued containment of Iran ensures that Saudi Arabia has a leg up, geopolitics is but one side of the equation. Natural gas is the other. With signatories to the...

Iran may pull out of the nuclear deal before the US (by Massoumeh Torfeh)  1 March 2018 In the opinion piece by Massoumeh Torfeh, she claims that Iran will leave a nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)) if it cannot gain economic benefits from it. Meanwhile, the author talks about Trump’s desire to increase sanctions against Iran and his violation of deal through creating...

OPEC mulls a long-term alliance with Russia to keep oil prices stable The Economist comments on the strengthening relationship between Saudi Arabia and Russia and puts forward the idea that the countries are set to reach more effective limits to the global production of oil. Resurgence of shale production in the U.S. makes it natural for the large producers whose economies are strongly dependent on...

  In late September 2017, the Iraqi Kurdish authorities organized a referendum in which an overwhelming majority voted for independence. However, this outcome was not immediately materialized into independence. Dr. James M. Dorsey, a Middle East scholar from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, shares his thoughts on the referendum and expectations in post-referendum future. ...

2nd Foreign Policy and Security Winter School, 14-18 March 2018, Istanbul/Turkey   Turkey is located at very critical geography. On one hand it is a NATO member and strategic partner of the USA. On the other hand, it is located in the neighborhood of the regional powers like Iran and Russia which both of them play extremely important role at the contemporary world politics. Furthermore, Turkey has...

The Centre for Syrian Studies (CSS) at the University of St Andrews in Scotland invites submission of abstracts for papers to be given at its Fourth International Conference on Syria to be held 1-3 August 2018 in St Andrews, Scotland. The theme of the conference will be the late Uprising period since roughly 2015, with the focus on issues such as the sectarianization of the conflict; the evolution of the...

The role of women in socio-political life in the Middle East and North Africa has been limited by law over the long years. However, when the popular uprisings began in MENA region, the role of women in non-traditional ways of political participation such as revolts, uprisings raised questions regarding women rights and gender equality, as well as women’s role in socio-political life of MENA...

In the shadowy world of covert proxy wars, Iran is taking centre stage, both as a target and a player. A series of incidents involving Iranian ethnic and religious minorities raise the spectre of the United States and Saudi Arabia seeking to destabilize the Islamic republic. Not to sit back passively, indications are that Iran beyond its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Lebanese Shiite militia...

People in Iraq's northern autonomous region of Kurdistan are voting in an independence referendum, amid rising tensions and international opposition on September 25, 2017. This referendum can produce a new state on the world map, in the most turbulent region of the planet. Heydar Mirza, expert in foreign policy and security studies, comments on the situation.    Interviewer: Elmira Hasanova...

One of the problems in the Lebanese economy that we do not efficiently use our capacities. Our country, contrary to what some think, has many capabilities and capacities. I will lay out and explain three main capacities and capabilities in this article. 1. Strategic Geographic Location: Lebanon is located at the intersection of Europe, Asia, and Africa. This location can provide companies with an easy...

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