The French Connection to Lebanon

"The Heart Spoke: A famed maimed old man has come to make whole again, my mutilated nation. The Arm Spoke: With his one remaining arm he brings back to my embrace cities severed from my nation. The Brain Spoke: Beirut shall once more be the capital of my thoughts, the harbor of my nation.”

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Experts blame Israel for the recent explosions. Why won’t Iran?

Since late June, there have been dozens of fires and explosions at or near nuclear, military, and industrial facilities in Iran. Experts see the clear possibility of Israeli sabotage in many of these incidents and describe an attempt to disrupt Iran’s re-emerging nuclear program, but Iranian officials have refrained from pointing the finger. Is it plausible for Israel to be behind these serial explosions? And, if it is, why are the Iranians not responding? To answer these questions with any degree of accuracy, an examination of the timing and the locations of these explosions is crucial.

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In Tunisia, more women in office can make all the difference

In Tunisia, 47 percent of seats in the 2018 municipal assembly elections are now held by women. This increase is due in part to a constitutionally-mandated electoral gender quota.

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The Future of Iranian Natural Gas Exports to Turkey

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The Middle East and China: Trust in the time of COVID-19

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What does the oil price collapse mean for Russia and the GCC?

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Iran Is Lying About Its Coronavirus Crisis

Within days of requesting $5 billion from the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF), Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei turned down and mocked America’s offer to send medical assistance to fight the spiraling coronavirus crisis.

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Iran Intensifies Its Fake News Campaign

The Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) is the most-lied to and lied about the organization in the World. This legacy is further engendered by recent The Intercept article, “Defectors Tell of Torture and Forced Sterilization in Militant Iranian Cult”, posted March 22, 2020.

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The Chinese Penetration of Israeli Media


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: In 2009, China Radio International (CRI) began broadcasting in Hebrew. This venture has proven a success for the Chinese and a failure for the Israeli media, which uncritically swallow the messages sent out by CRI’s Hebrew team.

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Opinion – The Impact of China’s Belt and Road Initiative on Central Asia and the South Caucasus

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China’s Response to the Killing of Soleimani

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: China and Iran have a close relationship, but Beijing’s influence over Tehran is questionable. Its response to the killing of Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani offers clues to its view of its own role in the Middle East.

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Trump’s “deal of the century” generates plenty of debate in Israel

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Aftermath of strike on Qassem Soleimani not the time for U.S. partisan politics

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Killing Suleimani: the tricky business of predicting what comes next

The killing of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani has triggered the writing of a plethora of op-eds and think-pieces. Many of these make bold predictions without, in fact, providing a great deal of factual basis to support them. In reality, it is impossible to forecast the course of events going forward; it is critical to understand decision making within the Iranian system is a complex and opaque process involving a range of important actors. Thus, regardless of the confidence of most media-pundits in their own conclusions, predicting what happens next is far from easy.

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Libya: An opportunity for Russian exploitation

When won by multiple independent and opposing organizations, revolutions usually create more confusion and discord than what was overthrown. This situation is even more difficult when tribal and regional loyalties exacerbate the forming of a country-wide central government.

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Will Israeli politicians prove their responsibility and flexibility?

It is clear that the Israeli political system has reached a peak in terms of the challenges it faces: two elections campaigns to date this year have not led to conclusive results and a third round may be right around the corner. The explanations for the current situation are varied and include, among others, internal difficulties with the election method itself (which is not a direct election), the hostility and distrust between party leaders (similar to the situation in the U.S. and other countries), the legal situation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and more. However, even if there are difficulties and challenges in running a state under such circumstances, the fact is that the state itself continues to function well. But what needs to be done to resolve this situation? Politicians need to show flexibility and take responsibility.

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Protests in Lebanon and Iraq Challenge Iranian Dominance

When Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini announced his vision of exporting the Islamist revolution to the region, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) developed the winning strategy of sponsoring Shiite militias to act as proxies. In 1982 the IRGC created Hezbollah in Lebanon, a model proxy. After the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, the IRGC and its foreign operations branch, the Quds Force (QF), set up a large number of Shiite militias under the umbrella of the Hashd al Shaabi, the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). The Iranian influence became so pervasive that Qassem Suleimani, the QF chief, became known as the “viceroy of Iraq.”

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Trump’s Impulsiveness Is Reshaping the Middle East (To Iran’s Benefit)

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How Big Is Russia’s Win in Syria?

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There may not be any celebrations, but the Israeli-Jordanian peace agreement has endured for 25 years

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