Iraq Glides Towards Civil War

By Bernhard Schell | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BEIRUT (IDN) – Ten years after the United States led invasion of Iraq in what was dubbed as “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, the strategically placed country in Western Asia suffered in 2013 the highest annual death toll in five years, and 2014 has started amidst heavy fighting between government troops and Sunni militants. They captured large parts of Fallujah and Ramadi, two cities in Iraq’s western Anbar province that were at the centre of the armed resistance to the US occupation a decade ago.

‘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.

India Suffers Fiasco on Foreign Affairs Front

By Shastri Ramachandaran* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) – India’s performance on the world stage in 2013 is the last act of dismal show before the curtain comes down on Manmohan Singh’s ten years as Prime Minister in May 2014.

In his second term beginning with 2009, Singh succeeded in undoing his own achievements on the foreign affairs front and of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), a coalition of left political parties. The descent from the peaks scaled in 2004-2009 has been so steep in the last few years that 2013 is viewed as a disastrous year for foreign policy: perhaps, the worst in 15 years.

Middle East: Obama Between Rapprochement and Resignation

By Anthony Rusonik* | IDN-InDepth NewsEssay

TORONTO (IDN | Geopolitical Monior) – US President Barack Obama’s foreign policy driver, at times fuzzy, appears in sharper focus as the president confronts the challenges of his second term.

What began in 2009 as global rapprochement and retrenchment grounded in realpolitik, in stark contrast to President George Bush’s over-extended messianic interventionism, now seems to have mutated into resignation, or at least hesitation and indecision. If the United States is not resigned under Obama, friends and foes alike can be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

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.

German Tycoons Want The Cake And Eat It Too

By Julio Godoy* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN (IDN) – Several recent economic news from the Eurozone illustrate the way the German industry bosses want to have their cake and eat it too: As the German federal statistical office (Destatis) informed earlier in December, the country’s export reached a record of some 100 billion euros, some 135 billion U.S. dollars, the highest amount ever measured in a month.

This record followed another – of surplus in the German trade balance – of more than 20 billion euros, beating the top score of June 2008 by more than one billion, as the Destatis stated in a press release on November 8, 2013.

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

Swiss Aid Helps UN Agencies Ban Hunger

By Richard Johnson | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

GENEVA (IDN) – The Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation has come up with a Christmas and New Year gift that has the potential of feeding some 2 billion people around the world. The international cooperation agency, based in Berne, is placing $2.7 million at the disposal of three United Nations agencies – the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) – to launch a joint project to tackle the global problem of food losses, beginning with pilot programmes in Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda.

Imparting Dignity To Bangladesh Garment Workers

By Tithe Farhana* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

DHAKA (IDN) – Salma Khatun (25), a victim of early marriage divorced by her husband, came to Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, in 2009 along with her two daughters, accompanied by her sister Shikka, a worker in a local Ready-Made Garments (RMG) factory in the city’s Mirpur area.

“I was very vulnerable due to getting divorce from my husband and also thinking about my daughters’ future. Subsequently, my sister insisted that I come with her.” With her help, she got a job in the factory, which gave her economic freedom and appeared to ensure the future of her daughters.

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