Political Analysis

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UK Peers Urge Pro-Iran, Pro-Palestinian Policies

A year ago, in May 2016, Britain’s House of Lords decided to establish a new International Relations Committee.  On 2 May 2017, after six months deliberation, the committee issued its second report: “The Middle East: Time for New Realism”.   It is, quite frankly, an astonishing document, imbued with unconcealed hostility towards, and distrust of, US President Donald Trump, with the anti-Brexit rhetoric of much of the British establishment, and with downright naïve recommendations, reflecting the consensus of the politically correct, concerning Saudi Arabia, the Iran nuclear deal, and Palestinian sovereignty.

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Can Deal-maker Trump Facilitate Israeli-Palestinian Peace?

US President Donald Trump has one attribute that his greatest friends and most impassioned enemies are agreed on – he is a great deal-maker.  Deal-making has been the key to his business success, which has been considerable.  And way back in the 1980s he co-authored “The Art of the Deal” which reached number 1 on the New York Times Best Seller list, and stayed there for 13 weeks.

President Elect Hassan Rouhani Holds His First Press Conference

Iran: Election or Selection? – Op-Ed

The 1979 revolution, also known as the Islamic Revolution, marked the end of the Pahlavi dynasty under the reign of Mohammad Reza Shah, and resulted in the birth of the Islamic Republic of Iran led by then Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (1979-1989). The Islamic Republic of Iran is a theocratic Republic with a Shiite Islamic political system based on “velayat-e faqih” [lit. ‘guardianship of the jurist’ or ‘rule by the jurisprudent’]. The supreme leader, otherwise known as Rahbar, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (1989-present) has ultimate control over key power structures and institutions from the legislative and executive branches of government to…
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An Iraqi army uniform lies close to the Kukjali checkpoint, some 10km east of Mosul.

ISIS and Sectarian Authoritarianism in Iraq

Most of the states in the regions of West Asia and North Africa have failed in nation building processes. Failure of state systems and lack of national identity have led to catastrophic dilemmas in the region, one of which is the emergence of ISIS (Islamic State in Syria and Iraq). While similar dilemmas could re-emerge in the region, especially Iraq, it becomes vital to ask if there is a detectable pattern, in which terrorist groups like ISIS thrive.

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Hezbollah and the balance of power in Lebanon

Lebanon’s president, Michel Aoun, is a fervent Hezbollah supporter; Lebanon’s prime minister, Saad Hariri, most certainly is not.  Hariri’s position is scarcely surprising, since he has every reason to believe that back in 2005 his father, Rafik, was brutally assassinated by Hezbollah operatives, acting on the orders of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

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