The Spectre of Trump Haunts Europe’s Bid to Keep Iran Deal Intact

Berlin is concerned about Trump’s attitude towards NATO and JCPOA, which during campaign he denounced as 'worst deal ever negotiated,' observes Gareth Smyth.

Trump’s Bait and Switch

Donald Trump has portrayed himself as a billionaire for the common people but his early presidency has the look of a flock of plutocrats feathering their own nests, write Michael Winship and Bill Moyers.

How Clinton Defeat Derailed Syrian War

Hawkish think tanks had laid plans for escalating the U.S. “regime change” war in Syria after Hillary Clinton’s expected election, but a different result has forced them to repackage their scheme, says Gareth Porter.

Will Jerusalem be Trump’s First Foreign Policy Crisis?

A range of views exist on how the Palestinians — and the Arab and Muslim worlds more broadly — will respond if Trump does relocate the embassy. Some analysts say the region will respond with angry rhetoric and demonstrations but not serious and sustained violence, writes Mark Habeeb.

Jared Kushner has Wasta

Kushner’s powerful role in his father-in-law’s White House has implications that go beyond Israeli-Palestinian issue, explains Rashmee Roshan Lall.

The Shortcomings Of The International Conference For Peace

Of main concern to the conferees was Trump’s campaign promise to relocate the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and give Netanyahu a free hand to expand the settlements, which could torpedo the prospect of peace and provoke the Arab states at a time when they are needed to support any new peace initiative, writes Alon Ben-Meir.

Donald Trump v. the Spooks

President-elect Trump is in a nasty slugfest with US intelligence agencies as they portray him as a Russian tool and he blasts their attempt to delegitimize his election, says ex-British intelligence officer Annie Machon.

Turkey and Iran, Allies or Rivals?

Despite President Rohani’s support for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan through last year’s coup attempt, the two countries’ political alliances diverge, say Mohammad-Reza Djalili and Thierry Kellner.

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030: Clerics Will Fall in Line

Sociological changes that come with Vision 2030, which endorses more investments in entertainment ventures, might prove a bit too much for some, observes Mohammed Alkhereiji.

2017 Will be Another Year of Key Elections for Europe

France and Germany are to have parliamentary and presidential elections in 2017, with security and migration expected to be major election issues, warns Mahmud el-Shafey.

Why do US ex-officials Keep Peddling their Same Failures?

Countering growing world opinion, an op-ed by two American ex-officials, who had been deeply involved in the failed negotiations for many years, seeks to perpetuate the core failures of past mediation, notes Rami G. Khouri.

Taking Sectarian and Ethnic Sides in the MENA region

With increase of media and social media atten­tion on Middle East, many from outside region, as well as from within, are more fre­quently taking sectarian or ethnic sides, warns Mamoon Alabbasi.

Escalation Watch

Michael Klare goes on a quick tour of our present planetary hot spots (including Iran), any of which could blow sky high as Donald Trump and his team of “mad dogs” take office.

Rafsanjani Leaves Iran in Grip of Power Struggle

Iran’s factionalised political system goes on but with Rafsanjani’s death Islamic Republic has lost its canniest defender, says Gareth Smyth.

Russia Elbows US aside in Middle East

One lesson that might be taken from tripartite Moscow gathering is that half a century of US hegemony in Middle East is disappearing with a whimper rather than a bang, observes Harvey Morris.

America in Need of ‘Democracy Promotion’

The US government lectures other countries about “democracy” – and finances internal opposition in the name of “democracy promotion” – but its own behavior falls far short of democratic norms, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Qatari Backtracking on Labour Rights and Cooperation with Russia Reflects New World Order

The rise of Russia and the populists appears to have emboldened Qatar to backtrack on pledges it made to reform, if not eliminate the kafala system in response to pressure from human rights and trade union activists using the Gulf state’s World Cup hosting rights as leverage, saysJames M. Dorsey.

Damascus Goes Dry as Syria’s Grim Water Wars Intensify

The water crisis spread panic and anger among the war-swollen population of about 9 million people in Damascus and its surrounding countryside, writes Sami Moubayed.

 
Syrian refugee, tripped by journalist, 'sad but hopeful'
Osamah Alabed Almohsen says he has"forgotten" camerawoman who famously tripped him with child in his arms near Hungarian border with Serbia.
Israeli satirist shames Holocaust memorial selfie trend
Shapira’s website, Yolocaust, shames visitors to Berlin’s Holocaust museum who post cheerful selfies on social media.
Egypt adds football star to terror list
Mohammed Aboutrika, among most successful African footballers of his generation, accused of financing outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
Mideast Christians remain hopeful for future despite ISIS violence in 2016
While Christian exodus from Syria continues, one needs only to look next door to Lebanon for positive signs of Christian, Muslim coexistence.
Thousands mark Jesus baptism at historic Jordan site
Thousands of Catholic Christians attend special mass at the Jordan River, in annual pilgrimage to the site where many believe Jesus was baptised.
UAE removes ‘Persian Gulf’ from school books
Education ministry orders removal of term after complaints that correct name is ‘Arabian Gulf’ in naming feud with Iran over stretch of water.
Mosul's displaced choose home over camps
For Mosul’s displaced citizens shelter is often down the road, with many preferring to remain close to home in temporary residences rather than in UN camps which are ‘like prison’.
Syrian star turned pizza boy dreams of Hollywood ending
Acting star Jihad Abdo is finally finding his feet after career is uprooted by Syrian conflict, causing him to flee ‘beautiful life’ for fresh start in Hollywood.
Scientists prove pause in global warming false
Research draws outrage from some scientists, critics in US who insisted there was 'global warming hiatus' between 1998 and 2014.
Emiratis banned from keeping wild pets
Gulf state bans private ownership of wild animals which have been domesticated, seen by some as status symbols.
'Pink taxis' challenge norms in Jordan
'Pink Taxi' service provides opportunities to women in conservative cities such as Amman, where female taxi drivers were previously unheard of.
Saddam Hussein 'lives on' in Baghdad shop
While dictator was brutal to those who opposed him, there are those who still look back fondly on his time in power, especially in comparison to following years.