Geography Archives: Iran

  • Syria, Libya, and Russia’s Retreat from “Reset”

    The last thing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev did before departing for France to attend this week’s Group of Eight summit meeting in Deauville was place a call to Damascus. Prima facie, one may think the call made sense, since, as Reuters reported, “Syria’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests” is going to be high on the agenda […]

  • Venezuelan Government Condemns Hostile Action of United States against PDVSA

    The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has taken note of the decision announced by the State Department of the United States to impose sanctions against our national company, Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), in the context of the unilateral US policy of sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran, known as the Comprehensive Iran […]

  • Obama at AIPAC: What the Decline of American Power Means for Israel

    President Obama’s speech to the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference on Sunday predictably offered lots of “red meat” for pro-Israel constituencies.  But, in heavily veiled language, the President also made an enormously important point about the evolving character of international relations in the 21st century and what that means for the United […]

  • On the Revolt in Syria

    The parties involved in the revolt in Syria so far have not made their programs public.  Undoubtedly, the drift of the Ba’athist regime, won over to neoliberalism and singularly passive in the face of the Israeli occupation of Golan, is the reason for the uprising of people.  However, the CIA’s intervention must not be ruled […]

  • New Insights into the Islamic Republic of Iran

    Arguably the most important reason for the international interest in Iran is its strategically pivotal geography.  Like some of its Muslim neighbours, it has tremendous oil and gas reserves.  For the United States, the revolution in Iran was nothing less than a geopolitical shock. Revolutionary dynamics in the Arab World have recently rekindled the debate […]

  • Who’s Winning the Great Game in the Middle East?

    Meanwhile, Iran keeps growing its nuclear program (Bushehr, Natanz, Isfahan, etc.) . . . Fahd Bahady is a Syrian cartoonist.  This cartoon was first published in his blog on 17 May 2011; it is reproduced here for non-profit educational purposes.  Cf. “‘Sit long enough by the river and the corpse of your enemy will float […]

  • The Revolt in Syria

      The movement, which I’d call a popular movement for a Syrian revolution, has sought the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad since it first began in the southern city of Daraa when [two teenagers were arrested for painting a slogan on the walls] that has been the main one at every demonstration ever since: “The people […]

  • Obama on the Middle East: Sticking with a Failed Script

    May 18, 2011 In an effort to define the dominant narrative about the ongoing Arab awakening and America’s role in the Middle East, President Obama will give what the White House is billing as a major address on Middle East policy.  However eloquently delivered, the address will not be able to overcome or compensate for […]

  • Turkey: Freedom of opPRESSion?

      On December 24th, 2010, a publishing house in Turkey was raided by the police.  Without any prior warning, its office’s electricity was cut off, and special operations teams surrounded its building.  Walls were rammed, doors were torn apart, and people working for Ozan Publishing were arrested and tortured. Not satisfied with that, the police […]

  • Hamas’s Option in Syria

      Two political analysts shared their view with Islam Online: the leadership of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas” will not leave Syria unless it is asked to do so.  They say that it is not in the interest of Hamas to leave Damascus now. An Internal Affair London’s Al-Hayat newspaper claimed that Hamas decided […]

  • Demystifying Syria

      Two relationships have long been key to the stability of the Syrian regime.  The first is an economic relationship: the regime puts back into national production just enough to create jobs and produce cheap national goods to keep the working population in steady or, better yet improving, living conditions.  The second is a political […]

  • Iran’s Islamist Bloggers Divided over Khamenei vs. Ahmadinejad

      It appears from Iranian Islamist blogs that the honeymoon between Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Islamic Republic’s Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is finally over.  Some reject Ahmadinejad in favor of the Supreme Leader while others show unwavering support for Ahmadinejad. It all started when President Ahmadinejad accepted the resignation of the Iranian Minister […]

  • Lying in Wait for Opportunity in Syria

    Victor Nieto is a cartoonist in Venezuela.  His cartoons frequently appear in Aporrea and Rebelión among other sites.  Cf. “Lebanon: Saad Hariri Calls for Syrian Regime Change; Maybe Iran Too” (24 August 2006, leaked to WikiLeaks, published in Al-Akhbar); “Turkey Comments on Syrian Ihvan’s Meeting in Istanbul” (World Bulletin, 2 April 2011); المراقب العام للأخوان […]

  • The War in Libya: Race, “Humanitarianism,” and the Media

      Firing for Media Effect: Setting the “African” Agenda “We left behind our friends from Chad.  We left behind their bodies.  We had 70 or 80 people from Chad working for our company.  They cut them dead with pruning shears and axes, attacking them, saying you’re providing troops for Gadhafi.  The Sudanese, the Chadians were […]

  • Mashaei to Run for President of Iran?  “Ask Me Six Months before Election”

      Presidential chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei has said that he has not decided yet to run for the 2013 presidential election. “Ask about my candidacy for the presidential election six months before the election,” he told reporters on Saturday when asked about his plans for the next presidential election. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s close […]

  • The Arab Spring and the Saudi Counter-Revolution

    We return from a recent trip to the region persuaded that the main question engaging people with respect to the “Arab spring” is no longer “who’s next,” but rather “how far will Saudi Arabia go in pushing a counter-revolutionary agenda” across the Middle East?  Whether Saudi Arabia is really capable of coping with the momentous […]

  • Mid-East Upheaval: What the Empire Sees

      The US left and progressives have been preoccupied about what we can do to impact events in the Mid-East, particularly obsessing about what we can do to counter US intervention.  In general, it is good to want to act, not just talk or analyze, in a crisis situation. However, despite the valiant and necessary […]

  • Egypt, Iran, and the Middle East’s Evolving Balance of Power

    The full extent of the ramifications of the extraordinary developments in Egypt since the beginning of this year — for Egypt itself, for the Middle East, and for the world — will not be clear for some time.  At this juncture, though, it seems virtually certain that post-Mubarak Egypt will have a much more balanced […]

  • Millions of Syrians Rally for Syria and Bashar

    Millions of Syrians rallied all over Syria, pledging loyalty to the country, in support of Bashar al-Assad, on 29 March 2011.  The dialectic of the regime and the opposition in Syria, it is safe to say, is neither like Tunisia and Egypt, nor like Iraq and Libya.  Instead, it is more like what happened in […]

  • Loving the Libyan Rebels

    The multinational empire has come up with a great deal for itself: using Libya’s own money to finance the Libyan rebels to fight against Libya.  Ali Tarhouni, a US-educated economist who just got appointed “finance minister” of the rebel “Interim Transitional National Council,” explains the deal: “Right now, there is no immediate crisis kind of […]