Iranian researcher in West Asian Affairs, Ali Rida al-Hajj Husseini, comments on Iran’s current relationship with the Taliban and the Hazara Shia of Afghanistan respectively, and Taliban’s relationship with ISIS.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE do not want a conflict with Iran. Yet four years of escalatory Trump administration policies only increased the likelihood of one. European stakeholders – supported by the Biden administration – should hasten to facilitate diplomatic talks between the two sides, with the goal of reaching concrete agreements on issues of concern. The Gulf Arab states should then convene multi-track discussions and explore where there is room to make progress. Dialogue may not yield immediate agreement on the matters that most concern the Gulf Arab states. Yet initiating talks is an important first step toward de-escalating tensions between Tehran, on one side, and Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, on the other – and toward establishing the forum as an enduring institution that can help safeguard long-term regional stability.
An investigation by a cybersecurity company has concluded that a little-known group opposed to the Iranian government was most likely behind the hack that caused chaos on the railway system.
In a political talk show appearance on RT Arabic earlier this month, Iranian political analyst Amir al-Moussawi commented on Iran’s stance towards the US army’s withdrawal from neighboring Afghanistan, and concerns surrounding the potential threat posed by the Taliban towards Kabul and the wider region.
Tehran jumped at the chance to portray militants’ barrages on Israel as revenge for Israeli attacks on Iran. But Israel says Tehran played no role in the latest conflict.
It’s not every day that Hamas leaders openly plead for Tehran’s support. But this is apparently what happened when, as the battle between Gaza’s militant groups and Israel’s military escalated, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh sent a letter to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei calling for “immediate action and mobilization of Islamic, Arab and international positions in order to … force the Zionist enemy to stop its crimes against the besieged people of Gaza.” He also spoke by phone to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. But however much they detest Israel, Iran’s leaders appeared to be doing their utmost to avoid getting directly drawn into the fighting. The same may be said for Hezbollah. While missiles were fired four times toward the Israel-Lebanon border during the week of May 15—and while a Hezbollah-affiliated protester was killed by Israeli troops when he joined a group that tried to storm the Lebanese-Israeli border—the missile attacks (which caused no Israeli casualties) were very likely undertaken by a Palestinian faction. Fearing a major war with Israel, Hezbollah leaders are skirting actions that they surely know Tehran would not support.
A United States Coast Guard cutter fired 30 warning shots after 13 Iranian fast patrol boats menaced a group of American Navy ships sailing in the Strait of Hormuz, the Pentagon said on Monday. The incident marked the third time in little more than a month that vessels from Iran and the United States have come dangerously close in or near the Persian Gulf, escalating tensions between the two nations as their negotiators have resumed talks toward renewing the 2015 nuclear deal.
Biden chose, when he entered office in January, to commit his Administration to Trump’s foreign policies. He accepted the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, which was a slap in the face to the Palestinians. He accepted Trump’s acceptance of Obama’s policy that Crimea and Donbass — which had separated themselves from Ukraine after Obama’s coup which had seized Ukraine’s government in February 2014, as a result of a plan by Obama which had started forming in Obama’s Administration in 2011 — must be seized back by Ukraine, and Biden promised that the United States would help Ukraine to do that. And he accepted Trump’s continuation of Obama’s plan to oust Bashar al-Assad from power in Syria and replace him with leaders who would be selected by the Saud family. He also accepted Obama’s and Trump’s change in American policy on Taiwan, toward switching away from the decades-long “one-China” policy of refusing to grant separate-nation status to Taiwan, toward now sending officials to Taiwan in violation of that policy and toward sending warships to the Taiwan Strait (internationally recognized by every nation except America to be Chinese territory) as a threat and preparation for publicly demanding that Taiwan be recognized by the United Nations as being a separate nation and no longer a province of China. All of these policies were build-ups toward some hoped-for surrender by Russia, and by China, and by Iran, to Biden, which would supposedly happen in some way without direct military conflict between the United States and Russia, and/or China, and/or Iran.
Yahoo has prominently posted a long piece about the early 2020 murder of the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and the Iraqi resistance leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat have agreed to establish an interagency working group to focus on the threat from Iran’s precision-guided missiles being shared with Hezbollah and other allies. Israeli defense sources told BD that while the Trump Administration focused on how to stop Iran’s gallop towards a nuclear bomb, the issue of Iran’s precision ballistic missiles has been ignored. Israel has reportedly launched at least 200 strikes against Iranian weapons shipments in recent years.