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Testing Prince Mohammed’s pledge to return Saudi Arabia to moderate Islam

By James M. Dorsey Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s vow to return his kingdom to a moderate interpretation of Islam could be put to the test by a draft bill in the US Congress that would require the secretary of State to submit yearly …

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Iran: Protests,threat of renewed sanctions focus economic thinking

By James M. Dorsey Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appears in the wake of recent anti-government protests to have put his weight behind President Hasan Rouhani’s repeated calls for reduced military and Revolutionary Guards involvement in the economy. Mr. Khamenei signalled his support by …

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Russia initiated safe zones in Syria offer real chance for reconciliation: Assad

Syria’s President Bashar Assad believes that the internationally agreed de-escalation zones are a real opportunity to finally achieve peace in his war-torn country, saying, all previous initiatives have failed due to some states hindering peace by pursuing own political goals. The “foremost” aim of the …

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Gulf crisis turns Qatar into the ‘region’s Israel’

By James M. Dorsey Prominent US constitutional lawyer and scholar Alan M. Dershowitz raised eyebrows when he described Qatar as “the Israel of the Gulf states.” Known for his hard-line pro-Israel views, Mr. Dershowitz drew his conclusion following an all-expenses paid trip to the Gulf …

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Erdogan threatens to ‘nip in the bud’ new US-backed Syria force

ANKARA (AFP) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday threatened to thwart the creation of a new US-backed 30,000-strong border security force in northern Syria before it was even set up. “America has acknowledged it is in the process of creating a terror army …

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Salafi mission calls into question: Saudi concept of moderation and policy in Yemen

By James M. Dorsey Plans to open a Salafi missionary centre in the Yemeni province of Al Mahrah on the border with Oman and Saudi Arabia raise questions about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salah’s concept of a moderate form of Islam. The questions are …

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Iranian protests expose contours of leadership in Muslim world

By James M. Dorsey If week-long anti-government protests in Iran exposed the Islamic republic’s deep-seated economic and political problems, they also laid bare Saudi Arabia’s structural inability to establish itself as the leader of the Sunni Muslim world. The responses to the protests of major …

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Saudi sports: The dark side of Crown Prince Mohammed’s reforms

By James M. Dorsey Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will be putting his best foot forward when enthusiastic women soccer fans this week attend for the first time a men’s soccer match in the kingdom. The event symbolizes the social and economic changes Prince …

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Pakistan condemns ballistic missile attack on Najran in KSA

ISLAMABAD-UNS – Pakistan has condemned the ballistic missile attack by Houthi militia on the city of Najran in Saudi Arabia on 05 January 2018. “Pakistan commends the Government of Saudi Arabia for destroying the missile before it caused any civilian casualties. It is however concerned …

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Iran ex-President Ahmadinejad arrested: Report

TEHRAN -UNS: The Iranian government has reportedly arrested former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for inciting unrest and demonstrations through his statements. Authorities are now seeking to place Ahmadinejad under house arrest with Khamenei’s approval, the Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper added, citing “reliable sources in Tehran”. UK-based newspaper …

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