• 2021-10-14

    American withdrawal, coupled with the need to diversify Gulf state economies away from oil, is driving efforts to dial down regional tensions. They fear that the emerging parameters of a reconfigured US commitment to security in the Middle East threaten to upend a more-than-a-century-old pillar of regional security and leave them with no good alternatives. The shaky pillar is the Gulf monarchies’ reliance on a powerful external ally that, in the words of Middle East scholar Roby C. Barrett, “shares the strategic, if not dynastic, interests of the Arab States.” The ally was Britain and France in the first half of the 20th century and the United States since then.

  • 2021-10-14

    The shift in America’s strategic focus from fighting terrorism in the Middle East – specifically in Afghanistan as well as Iraq and Syria – to competition with China has led to a focus on possible confrontation with China in military terms, including dealing with Taiwan and the South China Sea. At the same time, the increases in U.S. domestic natural gas and oil production have led many to believe the U.S. has far less need to ensure the smooth flow of energy exports from the Gulf and the MENA region.

  • 2021-10-13

    A visit last week to Israel by Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, the commander of US Fifth Fleet, included hammering out new details of operational cooperation between the US and Israeli navies operating in the region. During the visit, Cooper met with Defense Minister Benny Gantz, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi, Commander of the Israel Navy Vice Adm. David Saar Salama, and other high-ranking officers of the Israeli Navy. The focus of the meeting, military sources say, was a coordination effort around the evolving threats mainly posed by Iran in the Gulf and Red Sea. The two navies, the sources add, now have plans in place for joint action against Iranian threats — including how to counter Iranian use of manned and unmanned fast attack boats — but would not go into further details.

  • 2021-10-08

    As tensions are skyrocketing between Iran and Azerbaijan, the usual suspects in Washington are offering vociferous support for Baku and call on the U.S. government to do the same. One of Baku’s principal cheerleaders in Washington, the Hudson Institute’s Michael Doran, went one step further by posting a picture of Azerbaijan’s autocratic president Ilham Aliyev posing next to an Israeli-made drone, allegedly on the Iranian border, as an example to the Biden administration of how to “deal with Iran.” Another pundit, the Heritage Foundation’s Luke Coffee, drafted a whole paper calling on the U.S. government to pamper Azerbaijan with attention as a bulwark against Iranian influence.

  • 2021-10-07

    Iran decried the United States and the Israeli regime’s decades-long efforts to prevent the establishment of a nuclear weapons-free Middle East region. “In our region, the US stance and that of the Israeli regime on the Middle East free zone of nuclear weapons, initiated by Iran in 1974, have prevented the establishment of such a zone,” Iran’s permanent ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi told a UN General Assembly meeting on Wednesday. The envoy was referring to the Israeli regime’s ongoing acquisition of weapons of mass destruction, a process that has provided it with hundreds of nuclear warheads. Though its weapons program has turned the regime into the region’s sole possessor of nuclear weapons, Tel Aviv neither admits nor denies owning such armaments. It has, meanwhile, invariably evaded scrutiny by the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), thanks to constant protection provided for it by the United States on the international stage.

  • 2021-10-06

    We held talks during Mr Amirabdollahian’s first visit to our country as the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran. We discussed specific ways of expanding cooperation on bilateral projects based on the decisions made at the top level, including telephone conversations on August 18 and September 14 of this year between President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi.

  • 2021-10-05

    Sides are forming around the Iran vs Azerbaijan squabble. But this fight is not about ethnicity, religion or tribe – it is mainly about who gets to forge the region’s new transportation routes. […] Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei pointedly tweeted that “those who are under the illusion of relying on others, think that they can provide their own security, should know that they will soon take a slap, they will regret this.” The message was unmistakable: this was about Azerbaijan relying on Turkey and especially Israel for its security, and about Tel Aviv instrumentalizing Baku for an intel drive leading to interference in northern Iran. Further elaboration by Iranian experts went as far as Israel eventually using military bases in Azerbaijan to strike at Iranian nuclear installations.

  • 2021-09-21

    The Republic of Azerbaijan is the Islamic Republic of Iran’s important and influential neighbor: deep historical, cultural, religious, and ethno linguistic ties have led to the formation of deep and wide ranging relations between the two countries. The four northwestern provinces of Iran (i.e., Gilan, Ardabil, East Azerbaijan, and West Azerbaijan) have common geographical borders with both the main part of Azerbaijan and its exclave, the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic; they also have deep and close commonalities based on Islam and Shiism, as well as sharing the Azerbaijani culture and language. All this has provided the ground for closeness between the citizens of the regions on both sides of the border.

  • 2021-09-18

    Iran’s top nuclear scientist woke up an hour before dawn, as he did most days, to study Islamic philosophy before his day began.

  • 2021-09-14

    A pair of Iranian warships recently carried out a 133-day, 45,000km trek across three oceans and continents, returning to their home port last Tuesday. Iranian officials and military leaders hailed the trip as evidence of the Islamic Republic’s growing naval might. Iran plans to build a second mobile forward base such as the one which recently completed the long-range cross-oceanic journey across the world, Iranian Army commander Maj. Gen. Abdolrahim Mousavi has announced. Speaking to Iran’s DEFA Press on Tuesday, Mousavi confirmed that a new vessel like the Makran forward base and support vessel would be created, and indicated that the experience gained by Iranian shipbuilders in the construction of warships, support vessels and other equipment will lead them to create such craft at an accelerated pace in the future.