Author Archive: Neville Teller

Neville Teller

was born in London and is a graduate of Oxford University. He has been commenting on the Middle East scene for over thirty years. He is Middle East correspondent for the Eurasia Review and his articles also appear regularly in other publications and in his blog “A Mid-East Journal”. His books include “One Man’s Israel” (2008), “One Year in the History of Israel and Palestine” (2011) and “The Search for Détente” (2014). A past chairman of the Society of Authors’ Broadcasting Committee, he is a veteran radio and audio dramatist and abridger. In the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2006 he was awarded the MBE for services to broadcasting and drama.

People take part in pro-government rallies, Iran, January 3, 2018. Photo: Tasnim News Agency/Handout via REUTERS

Iran – The Beginning of the End?

Rumbles of discontent, erupting into public protests, are nothing new in Iran. They predate the Islamic Revolution of 1979, which swept the Shah from the throne and Ayatollah Khomeini into power. Today, among the slogans being chanted in the mass demonstrations bursting out all over Iran and threatening the very stability of the regime, are: “Reza Shah, God bless your soul.” In short, the regime of the ayatollahs has long outlived its honeymoon period.

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Hezbollah in Britain

A rumour is circulating in the British press to the effect that the UK is about to designate Hezbollah, lock, stock and barrel, as a terrorist organization.  It would not be before time. The UK first proscribed Hezbollah’s terrorist wing in 2001, and added the military wing in 2008 after the organization targeted British soldiers in Iraq, but it has reserved judgment on the organization as a whole because of its political activities.  Any such distinction, which the EU has copied from the UK, is illusory. Hezbollah is a unified organization, and its jihadist purpose is basic to its existence.  Even Hezbollah’s…
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Trump’s Israel-Palestine Peace Plan – Its Test Run

On 15 June 2018 senior US administration officials met with UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, in New York to discuss US efforts “to promote peace in the Middle East and to meet humanitarian needs in Gaza.” Joining the meeting were Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, two of the three envoys (the third is David Friedman, US ambassador to Israel) who are leading Trump’s Middle East peace effort. Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, was also present. Reports had already indicated that the US’s carefully crafted peace plan was virtually complete. 

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Who Follows Mahmoud Abbas?

Reaching the age of 83 is no big deal these days.  Centenarians abound.  But Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas is 83 with a long history of health problems.  Some twenty years ago he underwent an operation for prostate cancer.  Subsequently, as a heavy smoker, he has struggled against a succession of health issues, many connected with his heart.

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Syria – The Next Steps

Why did Syrian president Bashar al-Assad meet with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on May 17, 2018?  “Quite comprehensive negotiations took place,“ was the explanation offered by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.  

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The Trouble with Iran

That the current Iranian regime poses a problem for the free world is a fact of life.  It even poses a problem for Russia, its de facto ally in the Syrian conflict. But the Iranian dilemma comes into even sharper focus following US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, and the escalation of long-standing tensions between Iran and Israel into open military skirmishes.

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UN Human Rights: As Wrong as Ever

Comparatively speaking, the UN Human Rights Council is still in its infancy.  Set up only twelve years ago by the UN General Assembly, it had one over-riding purpose – to rectify the egregious faults of its predecessor body, the UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR).  The UNCHR had been a working body of the United Nations virtually from its foundation in 1946, but over its 60 years of existence it had accrued a raft of objectionable practices which finally made the organization totally unacceptable to many governments, activists and eventually to the UN itself.

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Syria’s Future

On April 4, 2018 three national presidents met in the Turkish capital of Ankara. Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan greeted his Russian and Iranian counterparts − Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani − to discuss a way forward in Syria. In the statement that followed, the three leaders claimed to be working closely to bring about a lasting peace in Syria.  

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The Commonwealth – A Role in the Peace Process?

The biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting opened on April 16, 2018 in London.  Most of the world’s media, except perhaps those of the Commonwealth nations, gave the event less attention than it deserves – but that has been the fate of the Commonwealth itself for many years.

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Realignment in the Middle East

Once upon a time Turkey and Israel were the greatest of friends.  In March 1949 Turkey was the first Islamic nation to recognize the new state of Israel. Over the next fifty years, despite some ups and downs, the relationship flourished.  In the Cold War Turkey was a key ally of the Western camp and in the 1990s, under the aegis of the United States, Israel and Turkey established bilateral defense, security and economic partnerships which burgeoned into strong social and cultural ties.

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