President Rafsanjani remains by far the odds-on favourite to win another four-year presidential term of office in the June election, but he is more than likely to face a number of serious challenges from both the left and right wings of Iran's political establishment. It is probable that the radicals of the left, epitomised by Mehdi Kharrubi's Society of Combatant Clerics of Tehran, and presently virtually excluded from the Majlis, may put forward a candidate. Ayatollah Musavi Khoemha is being mentioned as a candidate. But the radical left has been largely out-manoeuvred by President Rafsanjani and it is thought doubtful that they would garner much popular support during the elections
From a niche product promoted by Saudi and other Gulf financiers, shariacompliant instruments and services have boomed in the post-9/11 world to emerge as a fast-growing asset class in the global ...
North Korea may have the bomb, but Syria and Iran remain the foremost targets in American neo-conservatives’ sights. GSN examines the Hariri killing and the apparent cycle of mutual impotence in which the Syrian and US governments are trapped, in the first of a two-part series examining Washington’s approach to ‘pariah states’.
The single point of consensus is that six years on from the attacks on New York and Washington, the United States has uncomfortably little to show for its huge investment in blood and treasure. GS...
For a brief moment, the world took notice of tiny Qatar. The announcement on 27 June that Crown Prince Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifah al-Thani had deposed his father, Emir Khalifah, made headlines across the world. Just as rapidly, the affair faded from sight. As international recognition of the palace coup flooded in the outside world relaxed, satisfied that the new Emir would not institute any dramatic changes.
Operation Iraqi Freedom ended on 1 September after more than seven years of US ‘combat operations’ in Iraq. GSN marks the occasion by analysing the new US military mission, Operation New Dawn
Depending on one's perspective, the pan-Arab media is either coming of age or entering a new dark age of state-control and censorship. Whatever the case, the regional media explosion is set to have a wide reaching political and social impact, as well as being of purely business interest.
According to the state-controlled Iraqi News Agency (INA), earlier this month Iraq's cities "were the scene of crowded spontaneous marches as the masses expressed their happiness over the fall of the criminal Bush in the US presidential election". These "spontaneous" celebrations were, of course, simply an ordered and official reflection of President Saddam Hussein's pleasure over President Bush's election defeat. Not that the Iraqi president knows much about election processes, other than the particular variety his regime has engineered over the past years.
Across The Region, News, Data & Analysis: Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen
There were no large surprises from the published deliberations of the recent summit meeting of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh. The council's endorsement of the Saudi Arabian proposals for a Middle East peace settlement was an entirely expected outcome. But the council did not, as had been hoped by Saudi Arabia, agree to present the plan on a collective basis to the Arab Summit meeting in Fez. Instead the Gulf members merely "asked" Saudi Arabia to table the plan at the forthcoming Morocco meeting. This is less than the open support Saudi Arabia wanted and it appears that the Gulf States - with Kuwait in the vanguard - do not wish to be seen as attempting to impose acceptance of the plan on the rest of th Arab states.
At the heart of the northern emirates’ energy infrastructure and striving to broaden its economic base, Sharjah has powerful commercial reasons to ensure the conclusion of this crucial import agreement with Iran.
The recapture for the second time of the border town of Mehran by the Iranian forces has a significance in the Gulf War greater than the comparatively small territorial exchange it involved, costly though the fighting was to both sides. Iran reported over 3,000 Iraqi casualties and the capture of several hundred prisoners in the two day battle to retake Mehran.
It’s only when its practitioners do something genuinely different to conventional bankers that Islamic finance is revealed at its best, argues this special report’s principal writer Nadine Marroushi.
Whenever - as is presently the case - the official voice from Tehran becomes shrill and censorious it is usually a sign that Iran's internal political stresses and strains have intensified. Certainly there has been international criticism about Iranian policy and actions in recent months and it would be unrealistic to expect the government in Tehran not to defend itself vigorously.
Saudi Arabia’s stepped-up campaign against terrorism within its borders may not go far in deflecting new tensions that have led to a breakdown relations with the USA.
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