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Issue 861 - 26 September 2009

UAE arrests suspected RAK terror cell

Subscriber

When a 'terror plot' emerges everyone is quick to rush in with their interpretation of the (usually shadowy) events. "An armed cell related to a regional government" was reportedly uncovered over the summer in the northern emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah (RAK). Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida,

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Subscriber

Banks risky but Qatar does well, says study, Batelco fined by regulator for sector monopoly, Al-Bazie appointed deputy finance minister, €1bn sukuk delayed, Warba Bank approval, BD50m investment in IWPP

Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Bahrain
Subscriber

Mecca visit; New counter-terrorism department; Successful surgerKing Abdullah Bin Abdelaziz was in Mecca from 10-19 September. Interior Minister Prince Nayef Bin Abdelaziz has said the Kingdom will soon open a special department for combating terrorism. Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal had successfully undergone spinal surgery in the United States. Princess Sara Bint Talal Bin Abdelaziz, in co-operation with Lord Sebastian Coe, opened a new laboratory at the UK’s Middlesex University in mid-September. Abta Bint Miqrin sponsors heritage eventy; Middlesex laboratory; Sponsors heritage event

Saudi Arabia
Subscriber

With persistent rumours about the Supreme Leader’s health, key figures are jostling for power as they await the succession that many expect sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, with growing influence, the Rahbar’s son Mojtaba Khamenei waits in the wings

Iran
Subscriber

The elevation of Prince Nayef to second deputy premier has been closely observed in the UAE, where the veteran Saudi interior minister is regarded as being party to bilateral disputes since the foundation of the federation, writes Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi

Saudi Arabia | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
Subscriber

The Al-Houthi rebellion is closely linked to the north's distinctive traditions of Zaidi Shiism and the emergence of a 'revivalist' movement among Zaidis resentful of the growing influence of the Sunni conservative Salafi Wahhabis

Yemen
Free

Alarm bells have sounded over reports that Saudi Arabia is preparing to sign an unprecedented $2bn arms deal with Russia. Saudi defence procurement is usually the domain of the United States, Britain and France – leading observers to speculate that a geopolitical shift is under way. This might also involve shifting attitudes towards Iran, with Riyadh offering Moscow juicy contracts if it cools relations with Tehran.

Iran | Saudi Arabia
Subscriber

Among the most vocal princes in articulating Saudi anti-terrorism policy has been prominent businessman Prince Mohammed Al-Faisal. In a 2 September interview with The Washington Times -

Saudi Arabia
Issue 861 - 26 September 2009

Ghaya Bint Sultan Death

Free

Ras Al-Khaimah ruler’s court in mid-September announced the death of Sheikha Ghaya Bint Sultan Bin Salem Al-Qasimi

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 860 - 12 September 2009

Khalid Bin Alwaleed’s rugby investment

Free

In an era when Gulf money has poured into English Premier League football clubs, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s business empire has decided to invest in London Welsh, a British rugby union club.

Saudi Arabia
Free

Interior Minister and Second Deputy Premier Prince Nayef Bin Abdelaziz has held meetings with his Bahraini counterpart Sheikh Rashid Bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa and Qatar’s State Minister for Internal Affairs Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al-Thani and other Qatari internal security officials.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 860 - 12 September 2009

IRAN: First Persia fund on SDN blacklist

Subscriber

First Persia Equity Fund, a Cayman Islands-based subsidiary of the state-controlled Bank Melli Iran, has been blacklisted by the US Treasury Department’s office of foreign assets control. As part of further US sanctions

Iran
Subscriber

The return of mass bomb attacks to the streets of Iraq is a potent reminder that the country is still ruled by violence. As the murder of four of the five Britons kidnapped by Shia extremists shows, extreme force still pays political dividends in this brutal environment

Iraq
Issue 860 - 12 September 2009

New oil minister approved

Subscriber

The Majlis (Parliament) has approved the appointment of Massoud Mirkazemi as oil minister. Mirkazemi, the former commerce minister who enjoys close links with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has been criticised for his lack of knowledge and experience of the oil industry. His running of the department, which is engulfed in crisis, will be crucial during the new parliamentary term, particularly if further sanctions are imposed on the oil industry over the country’s nuclear programme.

Iran
Subscriber

A conservative member of the National Assembly, Jassim Al-Saidi, has accused Shia opposition party Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society of meddling in internal Yemeni affairs.

Bahrain