US to remove IRGC from terror blacklist

Axios reported earlier this week citing Israeli officials and US sources that the Biden administration is considering the removal of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC] from its terror blacklist, in return for a ‘public commitment from Tehran to de-escalation in the region.’  It is improbable that Tehran will give any such ‘public commitment’. But, …

As UAE embraces Iran, fizz goes pop for Abraham Accords

Iran’s Dy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani (C) with diplomatic adviser to UAE President Anwar Gargash (L) and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Khalifa Almara, Abu Dhabi, Nov. 16, 2021  The terrible secret about Faustian deals is that they need a Mephistopheles to nurture them. That said, Goethe’s Mephisto is very different from the …

Gulf security paradigm in historic shift

Foreign Ministers of Cyprus, Israel and Greece and the diplomatic adviser of UAE’s President met in Paphos, Cyprus April 16, 2021 The geopolitical alignments of the Gulf region are rapidly transforming both in bilateral and multilateral formats. Starting with the rapprochement between Qatar and Saudi Arabia in January, the common thread here is that the …

The China-Iran pact is a game changer – Part II

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani received China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Tehran, March 27, 2021 Part II: China positions itself on the right side of history  Part I: China neutralises the US campaign on Muslim Uighur issue  In an exclusive interview with Al-Arabiya last week, China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi …

Saudi embrace of Qatar falls short of Gulf unity

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R) welcomes Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani upon arrival to attend Gulf Cooperation Council Summit in Al-Ula, Jan. 5, 2021. The West Asian region is such a fragmented part of the world that any semblance of reconciliation on any of the criss-crossing fault lines becomes a …