‘Egypt On The Brink of New Dictatorship’

By Seyed Mohammad Eslami* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

Iran and Egypt are among the most influential in the cauldron of incessant conflict in the Middle East. After the 2011 Egyptian revolution which ousted President Hosni Mubarak, Iran appointed its first ambassador to Egypt in almost 30 years. Mixed feelings pervade in Iran since Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi was removed from power in the aftermath of popular protest in July 2013. The following article from the Iran Review, the leading independent, non-governmental and non-partisan website, underlines the quandary in which Iran led by President Hassan Rouhani finds itself.

Implications Of Beirut Bombing

By Tahmineh Bakhtiari* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TEHRAN (IDN) – The December 27 explosion in front of the headquarters of the March 14 Alliance in Beirut targeting some of the party’s senior members such as former finance minister, Mohammad Shatah, reveals another plot against the Middle Eastern countries.

Named after the date of the Cedar Revolution, the Alliance is a coalition of political parties and independents in Lebanon, formed in 2005, that are united by their anti-Syrian regime stance, led by MP Saad Hariri, younger son of Rafik Hariri, the assassinated former prime minister of Lebanon, as well as other figures such as Amine Gemayel, president of the Kataeb Party – the Lebanese Phalanges Party, a traditional right-wing political-paramilitary ultranationalist organization.

Investment in Iran’s Oil And Gas Will Benefit India and Iran

By Erfan Ghassempour, Hamidreza Ghanei Bafghi, Abdollah Ale Ja’far and Samira Fatemi

IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TEHRAN (IDN) – India and Iran have had economic relations for centuries. However, their relations entered into a new era after the partition of the Indian subcontinent into India and Pakistan, the Iranian Islamic republic revolution and the Iranian nuclear issue.

Following the partition of the Indian subcontinent, India lost its adjacency with Iran and the two countries followed divergent foreign policies arising out of the post-partition political developments ([i]). On the other hand, Iranian Islamic revolution changed Iran’s relation with the world including India. In the recent years and after the international sanctions against Iran’s economy, Iran and India are experiencing a new and complicated political and commercial relationship. Read in Persian

Syrian Refugees Biggest Sufferers Of The Conflict

By Manish Rai* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) – Nearly three years of bloody civil war in Syria have created what the United Nations, governments and international humanitarian organizations describe as the most challenging refugee crisis in a generation bigger than the one unleashed by the Rwandan genocide and laden with the sectarianism of the Balkan wars.

With no end in sight in the conflict and with large parts of Syria already destroyed, governments and humanitarian as well as other organizations are quietly preparing for the refugee crisis to last years. This is the crisis that has been called the greatest humanitarian catastrophe of this century and condemned by the UN as a “disgraceful humanitarian calamity with suffering and displacement unparalleled in recent history”.

The Road Ahead After Breakthrough Over Iran

By Jayantha Dhanapala* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

KANDY, Sri Lanka (IDN) – Even cynics must admit that the time comes in international relations when long frozen situations suddenly thaw causing positive change for international peace and security. Examples of such “game-changers” are many but outstanding are (in chronological order): U.S. President Richard Nixon’s 1972 visit to China; the 1978 Camp David Agreement on the Middle East; the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 signifying the end of the Cold War; and President Willelm de Klerk’s release of Nelson Mandela in 1990 leading to the final dismantlement of apartheid in South Africa in 1994.

We have been fortunate to witness two of such dramatic events in quick succession in 2013. There was, in September, the agreement on Syria’s chemical weapons and although the Syrian civil war continues its bloody course the worst is seemingly over and we are headed towards the Geneva II Conference announced for the end of January 2014.

Rouhani Might Turn Out To Be Iran’s Gorbachev

By Robert A. Manning* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

WASHINGTON (IDN | Yale Global) – The debate over the nuclear deal with Iran may obscure an intriguing new reality: Iran approaching a “Gorbachev Moment.” Of course, the skeptics may be right. It could all be a ruse, with Iran pocketing the benefits and biding its time. But is it just possible that the logic leading Iran to temper its nuclear ambitions is the result of a perfect storm of sanctions wrecking a grossly mismanaged economy, internal political shifts and Persian Imperial Overstretch?

The interim accord restricts Iran’s enrichment to 5 percent; neutralizes its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium, easily refined to weapons grade; halts key elements of construction of Arak, its plutonium-producing facility; and provides adequate International Atomic Energy Agency verification, though that needs to be more intrusive in a final agreement, lending confidence of early warning in the event of any nuclear breakout. The accord offers Iran only modest sanctions relief, maintaining incentives for a comprehensive deal. This may be all the political traffic will bear.

Some would resist any deal that doesn’t completely dismantle Iran’s nuclear program. But there is also danger that, if the US is viewed as rejecting a reasonable compromise, the global coalition putting the sanctions in place could unravel.

EU-Iran: Nuclear Deal Offers New Trade Opportunities

By Said Khaloozadeh* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TEHRAN (IDN | Iran Review) – The signing of the agreement between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the member states of the P5+1 group of world powers, first of all scored a victory for a negotiated and diplomatic approach over the policy of sanctions and mounting pressure.

Foreign ministers from six major world powers – the US, the UK, France, Germany, China, Russia – and Iran reached the conclusion in the morning of November 24, 2013, that it was better for everybody to sign an agreement, which would put an end to ten years of difficult diplomatic confrontation between the two sides. It seemed that everybody had won.

Geneva Nuclear Breakthrough Win-Win For All

By Zachary Fillingham* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TORONTO (IDN) – A preliminary deal has been reached between the P5+1 parties and Iran, establishing a series of restrictions on the country’s nuclear program in exchange for a partial reduction of the sanctions that have decimated the Iranian economy. The agreement represents a breakthrough in U.S.-Iranian diplomacy since the 1979 Revolution, and the new normal it envisions could have a profound impact on not just the geopolitical reality of the Middle East, but the global economy as well.

The deal was helped along by secret talks between U.S. and Iranian representatives – another exceptional event given the disregard and mistrust that generally passes for bilateral exchange between the two countries.

Syria: Road To Geneva-II Littered With Bumps

By Manish Rai* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) – While efforts are underway to make a peace conference on Syria possible, the surrounding atmospheres are not encouraging as opposition groups in the Syrian conflict seem to still have reservations and preconditions.

The Western-backed Syrian National Coalition (SNC), the main opposition group in exile, threw a monkey wrench into the planned peace talks in Geneva saying that it won’t attend the Geneva II peace conference unless there’s a strict timetable for President Bashar al-Assad to leave power.

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