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US, Iran: Is Trump shooting from the hip or following a script?

By James M. Dorsey Message to Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and Tel Aviv: Not to worry, US President Donald J. Trump has no intention of meeting his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, unconditionally. On the contrary, Mr. Trump’s surprise announcement that he is willing to talk to …

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Lack of global leadership spurs instability in the Middle East

By James M. Dorsey With multiple Middle Eastern disputes threatening to spill out of control, United Arab Emirates minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash acknowledged what many in the Middle East have long said privately: the UAE’s recently-found assertiveness and determination to punch …

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Trump, Iran drama escalates — via Twitter

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Tensions are mounting between Donald Trump and Iran — the US president’s raw tweet threatening Tehran was met Monday with a similarly bilious reply, upping the ante in the high-stakes game of diplomatic chicken. Trump’s tweeted warning late Sunday to Iranian President …

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Whither Wahhabism?

By James M. Dorsey Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman could well dash expectations that he is gunning for a break with Sunni Muslim ultra-conservatism rather than a shaving off of the rough edges of Wahhabi ideology that has been woven into the kingdom’s fabric …

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Battle for Iran: Policy or regime change?

By James M. Dorsey Iran, in the latest of a series of incidents on its western and south-eastern borders, said it had disbanded a Pakistan-based cell of ant-Shiite militants in a clash this week on the Iranian side of the border. The clash, shrouded in …

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Iran president in Europe to rally support for nuclear deal

GENEVA (AFP) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Switzerland on Monday at the start of European trip billed as of “prime importance” after the US pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers. The tour, which also includes a stop …

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Iran’s Chabahar port is where Asian and Middle Eastern rivalries collide

By James M. Dorsey 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. Chabahar was destined to become a player in geopolitical and …

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Erdogan secures sweeping new powers as rival accepts vote defeat

ISTANBUL (AFP) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday celebrated winning five more years in office with sweeping new powers after a decisive election victory, as his main rival accepted the outcome despite bitter complaints over the conduct of the campaign. A night of …

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Erdogan declared winner of Turkey presidential polls

ISTANBUL (AFP) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won tightly-contested presidential polls, the election authority said Monday, extending his 15-year grip on power as the opposition complained bitterly about the conduct of the vote count. Turkish voters had for the first time cast ballots …

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Chabahar Port to be operational by 2019

TEHRAN -UNS: India declares to make Chabahar Port in Iran operational by 2019, regardless of threat of transformed US sanctions against Tehran. Chabahar port complex in Iran is a new transportation access strip for land-locked Afghanistan, which may result in opening way for millions of …

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