Iran’s Indian-back port of Chabahar, inaugurated months before the United States re-imposed sanctions on the Islamic republic, is where Asia and the Middle East’s multiple political conflicts and commercial rivalries collide.
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…
A planned China and Russia-led show of support for Iran at next month’s Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit is likely to be primarily symbolic unless the group opts to honour the Islamic republic’s bid to be upgraded from observer to full member. How much solidarity with Iran can the China-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization afford?
President Donald J. Trump’s abrogation of the 2015 international nuclear agreement with Iran is likely to put his America First policy to the test.
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.
Bangladesh, in a twist of irony, is looking to Saudi Arabia to fund a $ 1 billion plan to build hundreds of mosques and religious centres to counter militant Islam that for much of the past decade traced its roots to ultra-conservative strands of the faith promoted by a multi-billion dollar Saudi campaign.
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.
The organization dedicated to isolating and delegitimizing Israel by way of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) has so far not reacted officially to the announcement that Britain’s Prince William is to visit Israel this summer. Since he will also be visiting Jordan and what are described in the announcement as “the Palestinian occupied territories”, and since both Jordan’s King Abdullah and Palestinian Authority (PA) president, Mahmoud Abbas, have welcomed the news, hard-line BDS supporters do not have much of a leg to stand on. Moreover Prince William probably ranks considerably higher in the public popularity stakes than Roger Waters, Lorde…
Seventy years after its birth, Pakistan is struggling to get a grip on Sunni Muslim ultra-conservatism and its militant offshoots that were aided and abetted by successive governments as well as Saudi Arabia and at times the United States. The stakes for Pakistan are high as it confronts mounting international pressure that includes China, its closest ally, to crackdown on militancy.
China’s recent failure to shield Pakistan from censorship by an international anti-terrorism funding and anti-money laundering body suggests that the People’s Republic is struggling to balance its contradictory interests in South Asia and may be trying to evade the potential cost of its long-standing support for Pakistani-backed, anti-Indian militants.