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Moscow was bitterly disappointed by the failure of the P5+1 talks it hosted in June. Tehran’s stubbornness may lead Russia to adjust its approach to Iran, but no major shift is expected in a relationship based on mutual interests

Iran
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The level of US forces in the Gulf is the highest in more than a decade, with carriers to display power and an increase in demining vessels to make sure the Strait of Hormuz is clear. But the aim seems to be to pressure Iran politically, rather than prepare for military action.

Iran
Issue 928 - 20 July 2012

The Gulf at the 2012 Olympics

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Some 116 men and 31 women from the Gulf region are expected to compete in the London Olympic Games which begin on 27 July. The largest team comes from Iran (54) and the smallest from Oman, which is sending just four competitors

Iran | Oman
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Saudi Arabia has reopened an old pipeline built by Iraq to bypass Gulf shipping lanes, according to industry sources quoted by Reuters. On 28 June, the news agency said Riyadh had taken the measure as a precaution against Iran blocking the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran | Saudi Arabia
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In post-occupation Iraq, even the parliamentary balance of seats may not be enough to oust a wily opponent. In late April, Moqtada Al-Sadr and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Massoud Barzani separately approached the Iranian government about replacing Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki.

Iran | Iraq
Issue 926 - 22 June 2012

Difficult geopolitical context

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The prominent position accorded to Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf) chairman Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi at the funeral prayers for Crown Prince Nayef Bin Abdelaziz on 18 June highlighted the Saudi leadership’s alignment with conservative influences across much of the Arab world.

Iran | Saudi Arabia
Free

Iran has become increasingly isolated in recent months, as the West applies sanctions intended to pressure it into halting its nuclear activities. Washington and its allies fear Iran’s uranium enrichment programme is an attempt to build atomic weapons, while Iran says it is refining uranium for a network of nuclear power plants.

Iran
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Higher oil prices that could potentially result from new US and European Union economic sanctions against Iranian oil exports, which take effect from June, would be credit-positive for most international oil companies (IOCs), but negative for corporate sectors such as airlines, oil refining, European autos and retail, according to Moody’s Investors Service

Iran
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Iran
Free

Published in May 2012, this graphic illustrates data for the Middle East North Africa region taken from the IMF World Economic Outlook. Selected indicators include real GDP, consumer price inflation and current account balance. A map of the region is shaded to show revisions to 2012 GDP growth forecasts, while a chart shows fiscal breakeven oil prices.

Iran | Egypt | Saudi Arabia | Bahrain | Yemen | Mauritania | Oman | Sudan | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Libya | Iraq | Qatar | Algeria | Morocco | Tunisia | Syria
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Iran’s desire for greater control of Iraq’s Shiite establishment poses a delicate challenge for Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki, who sees Iran as both a necessary ally and a potential threat to his monopoly on power

Iran | Iraq
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Iran’s provocative visit has reignited the dispute over Abu Musa. The UAE quickly withdrew its ambassador from Tehran and is likely to toughen its stance, while for Iran, the furore is a welcome distraction from problems at home

Iran | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 921 - 06 April 2012

US accuses Iran of meddling

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Summary The US has been talking up Iranian involvement in Yemen, suggesting Tehran is involved not only in the northern conflict between Houthis and Salafis, but also in the southern separatist movement – a view many analysts approach with caution, saying support is most likely to be in the form of money or influence, rather than military.

Iran | Yemen
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Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have pledged to continue trading with Iran despite increasing pressure from the US. South Africa’s trade minister Rob Davies told Reuters on the sidelines of a meeting of BRICS trade ministers in Delhi in March that the group was not bound by unilateral sanctions imposed by any country

Iran
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Reporters Without Borders has labelled Iran, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia ‘Internet Enemies’ due to their increasingly sophisticated methods of muting online dissent; crackdowns in the UAE have also made it a country to watch

Iran | Saudi Arabia | Bahrain | United Arab Emirates (UAE)