prev next prev next ROME - Saudi Arabia under its new leadership is "possibly the most dangerous and destabilising influence in the Middle East today", according to Gary Sick, a professor at Columbia University and analyst of Middle East affairs, who is currently visiting Italy. Sick said US President Donald Trump, whose first foreign visit as president was to Riyadh, "has not really followed any particular strategy in his Middle East policies" but rather his policy-making is a "mixture of personal gut instinct, an attempt to fulfill promises made on the campaign trail, and conscious efforts to undo any and all of Obama's legacy". … [Read more...] about Saudi Arabia ‘destabilising influence’ in Middle East
Author: The situation in the Middle East smells of war, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Turkologist Victor Nadein-Raevsky, said in an interview with Armenian News – NEWS.am. In his words, this relates to the situation round Qatar. “The situation is such that the countries of the region have divided into two opposite blocs. The situation is very volatile, the issue of Kurdistan also being added to this escalation. That is, we are now dealing with an extremely serious challenge to the statehood of the region,” Victor Nadein-Raevsky noted. Referring to the possibility of creating a Kurdistan state in northern Iraq, he noted that technically it is quite possible. “Since technically we deal with an actually independent Kurdish state. That is the Kurdish autonomy. They have enormous [scope of] rights: they have taken what they wanted. But the thing is that Masoud Barzani … [Read more...] about Turkologist: Situation in Middle East smells of war
Rev Andrew White 1 April 2018 • 4:33pm It is three years since I left Baghdad, where I led the city’s last Anglican church till the danger became too great. With the apparent defeat of Isil, order seems to be returning to some parts of the Middle East. But the plight of Christians in the region remains incredibly serious. The Christian communities here are some of the oldest in the world – many of the people I work with still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus. But they are the persecuted minority of the minority: more Christians are dying and being displaced for their faith now than ever before in the 2,000 years of the history of our faith. The only place in the Middle East where Christians live in freedom is Israel, and even... To continue reading this article Start your free trial of Premium Access all Premium articles Subscriber-only events Cancel any time Free for 30 days then only £2 per week Try Premium … [Read more...] about Christian refugees from the Middle East may never be able to return home. Why isn’t Britain making them welcome?
Armed conflict between the US and Iran is becoming more probable by the day as super-hawks replace hawks in the Trump administration. The new National Security Adviser, John Bolton, has called for the US to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal of 2015 and advocated immediate regime change in Tehran. The new Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has said the agreement, which Trump may withdraw from on 12 May, is “a disaster”. Trump has told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he will not accept a deal with “cosmetic changes” as advocated by European states according to Israeli reporters. If this is so, then the deal is effectively dead. The escalating US-Iran confrontation is causing menacing ripples that could soon become waves across the Middle East. The price of crude oil is up because of fears of disruption of supply from the Gulf. In Iran, the value of the rial is at its lowest ever, having fallen by a quarter in the last six months. In Iraq, the Prime … [Read more...] about The appointments of John Bolton and Mike Pompeo in the US bring us closer to war in the Middle East
Oil fell, erasing earlier gains, as investors shrugged off concerns over geopolitical risks after Saudi Arabia intercepted ballistic missiles fired by Houthi forces in Yemen.Futures in New York fell as much as 0.6 percent. Priced had earlier risen as much as 1 percent on speculation a worsening of the situation with Yemen will lead to supply disruptions in the oil-rich Middle East. Meanwhile in China, the country began trading its first ever crude-futures contract on Monday as the world’s biggest oil buyer seeks to wield greater power over pricing and challenge benchmarks in the U.S. and Europe.Oil last week posted its biggest weekly advance since July after President Donald Trump appointed John Bolton as national security adviser, signaling the U.S. may be turning to a harder line on OPEC producer Iran. On top of concerns over that country, if supplies from Saudi Arabia also get disrupted, the oil market may see a supply shortage as U.S. output won’t be enough to cover a … [Read more...] about Oil Erases Gains as Traders Shrug Off Rising Middle East Tension