Following the September 14 attack on two of Saudi Arabia’s major oil facilities, country’s leadership blamed Iran. US Secretary of State Pompeo tweeted, “Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy. Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.” He later said this was an act of war. President Trump, after his “locked and loaded” tweet, said it looked like Iran was behind attack but he did not want to go to war. On September 20, Washington announced new sanctions on Iran’s national bank and the country’s sovereign wealth fund. Three days later the leaders of France, Germany and the UK issued a joint statement saying, “It is clear to us that Iran bears responsibility for this attack. There is no other plausible explanation. We support ongoing investigations to establish further details.” (*) Okumaya devam et →
In a couple of years, the world could well be speaking of a decade of conflict in Syria in which regional and external powers were involved either directly or through proxies.
The Islamic State remains a threat. Thousands and thousands of jihadist fighters not only from those directly involved but also from distant countries traveled to Syria to take part in the fighting. Their return home has now become a security challenge. Specialist monitors at the UN have warned that a recent pause in international terrorist violence may soon end, with the possibility of a new wave of attacks before the end of the year. What this portends for the clash or dialogue of civilizations remains to be seen. Okumaya devam et →
On July 4, British Royal Marines seized near Gibraltar the supertanker Grace 1 suspected of carrying Iranian oil to Syria. This was the first such detention of a ship under the European sanctions targeting supplies to Syria. The tanker is registered in Panama and owned by a Singapore-based company.
Coming on the Independence Day, the detention more than delighted the hawks in the Trump administration as Simon Tisdall wrote in the Guardian. (*) Okumaya devam et →
On April 27, 2018 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un crossed the line that has divided the Korean Peninsula for the last 65 years, for a historic summit with President Moon Jae-in. The two leaders signed the three-page “Panmunjom Declaration,” which mentioned the ushering in of a new era of national reconciliation, peace and prosperity, alleviating military tension and establishing permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. The declaration also confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a “nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.” However, this was the last item coming after other measures to ensure the normalization of relations between the two Koreas.
On June 22, the White House released the first of a two-part Middle East peace plan, “the deal of the century”. Three days later, in Bahrain, President Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner presented the administration’s vision of a new prosperity for the Middle East, if peace could be achieved. As for the political dimension, all he said was: “We’ll get to the political plan when we are ready to get to the political plan. However, today is not about the political issues.”Okumaya devam et →
In the West, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Venezuela and Jared Kushner’s Middle East peace plan took a back seat during the week. It was President Trump who dominated the headlines. Attention initially focused on the jabs he took at the Mayor of London and the Duchess of Sussex.
In responding to a question on Brexit during his joint press conference with Prime Minister May on June 4, 2019 President Trump said:
“… This is a great, great country and it wants its own identity. It wants to have its own borders. It wants to run its own affairs. This is a very, very special place. And I think it deserves a special place. And I thought maybe for that reason — and for others — but that reason, it was going to happen.”
And, he reiterated his commitment to a “phenomenal trade deal” between the US and the UK. Okumaya devam et →
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held summit meetings in Mecca last week. All three were chaired by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman. The choice of the holy city of Mecca for the meetings was probably aimed at reiterating Saudi Arabia’s now contested claim to the leadership of the Islamic world.
The final communiques of the GCC and the Arab League strongly targeted Iran and the Houthis. While they did not exactly overlap, the message was clear.
The GCC and the Arab League underlined the need for Iran to abide by the principles of Charter of the United Nations and the international law including non-interference in internal affairs and refraining from the threat or use of force. They called on Iran to stop supporting, financing and arming terrorist militias and organizations as well as feeding sectarian conflicts. Okumaya devam et →