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May 12: A potentially future-shaping day for the ME

By James M. Dorsey With US President Donald J. Trump scheduled to announce whether he will uphold the international community’s nuclear agreement on Iran and Iraqi elections slated for the same day, May 12 is gearing up to be a day that could shape the …

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Astronomy: The outer frontier of MbS’ liberalization

By James M. Dorsey Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s investment of $1 billion and option to pump a further $480 million into Richard Branson’s ventures in space, confirmed during the prince’s recent visit to the United States, was more than just another headline-grabbing move. …

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Iran won’t accept any amendment to nuclear deal

ANKARA (Reuters) – A top adviser to Iran’s supreme leader said on Thursday Tehran would not accept any change to its nuclear deal, as Western signatories prepare a new package in the hope of persuading US President Donald Trump to stick with the accord. A …

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Europe must not pay Trump ‘ransom’ over nuclear deal:Iran

TEHRAN (AFP) – A top Iranian official on Tuesday welcomed European powers’ efforts to salvage a historic nuclear deal, but warned they should not simply hand over “a ransom” to US President Donald Trump. Trump has threatened not to renew the 2015 accord, which curbed …

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Another missile attack : Saudi intercepted missile fired by Yemeni rebels

RIYADH (AFP) – Saudi air defences on Sunday intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Yemeni rebels at the kingdom s southern border city of Najran, which set a farm ablaze, state media said. “Saudi forces were able to intercept (the missile),” the Saudi Press Agency …

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Saudi engagement in Iraq: The exception that confirms the rule?

By James M. Dorsey Stepped up Saudi efforts to forge close diplomatic, economic and cultural ties to Shia-majority Iraq in a bid to counter significant Iranian influence in the country appear to be paying off. The Saudi initiative demonstrates the kingdom’s ability to engage rather …

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Four Saudi army men dead, 5 injured in gun attack

RIYADH -UNS : Four Saudi officers were shot dead and four others wounded today when their check post came under gunfire in southern Asir province, state media said citing the interior ministry. Three officers were instantly killed when the outpost came under attack, the Saudi …

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Saudi Export of Ultra-conservatism in the Era of MbS

By James M. Dorsey Edited remarks at The Middle East and the Geopolitics of Religious Soft Power, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University and the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, Washington DC 18-19 April 2018 There has long …

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Open to sending troops to Syria under wider coalition : KSA

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia would send troops to Syria under the US-led coalition if a decision was taken to widen it, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Tuesday. “We are in discussion with the US and have been since the beginning of the Syrian crisis about …

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PM Abbasi, COAS attend closing ceremony of Gulf Shield-1 in KSA

RIYADH -UNS – Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and the heads of the Arab countries on Monday attended the closing ceremony of Gulf Shield-1 joint military exercise in Saudi Arabia. The month long exercise Gulf Shield-1 …

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