Stories about Iran

Did Iran make a historical mistake by signing a nuclear deal with the US?

It was reported in the Washington Post that the US Secretary of State, Mr Rex Tillerson, said the following words, “I would like to assure the North Koreans that the USA is not their enemy; does not want any harm to come to them; they have nothing to be afraid of; the US does not seek regime change or the forced unification of the Korean peninsula, and the North Koreans need have no fear of any military invasion from the USA.” He then went on to say that the North Korean ballistic missile program is a serious threat to the US. Therefore, it is exerting peaceful pressure ...

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Justin Trudeau, Mohammad Bin Salman and Kim Jong Un: Three leaders with the potential to either make or break the world

In today’s global political scene, we can see three young world leaders from three very different countries, political systems and cultures for which the term ‘Greenhorn’ could be used. The three leaders I am referring to are Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, newly appointed crown prince of Saudi Arabia Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS), and the supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un. Trudeau, MBS and Kim have each been at the centre of the world stage in recent days, but each for very different reasons. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau. Photo: AFP Justin Pierre James Trudeau Born on December 25, 1971, Trudeau is the 23rd and current PM of Canada and ...

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After 70 years, India and Israel’s longing bromance is finally out of the closet

It took a long time coming, 70 years to be precise, but perhaps it was inevitable. In the nearly seven decades, since the state of Israel came into existence, no Indian prime minister set foot in the country.  But true to the unorthodox style that is revitalising Indian diplomacy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally corrected this longstanding anomaly with his trip to Israel this week. The extraordinarily warm welcome Modi received illustrates how much his hosts wanted this visit to happen and how much it matters to them. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was effusive in his welcome address, using a few Hindi words and liberally sprinkling catchy ...

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Why should Pakistan observe neutrality when it can dominate the political discourse in the Middle East?

The Gulf States have an existential reason to not make their armies strong because if they do, it would mean that the heads – quite literally – of the various kings, princes and other royals would be on the line. Enter the United States (US) armed forces and the 600,000 strong land, sea and air forces of their strongest Muslim ally, Pakistan. While the presence of the US armed forces is known by all and sundry, a lesser known piece of information is how crucial Pakistan is to the precarious balance of power and peace in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia sees the Pakistani Army as the defender of the ...

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Why a ban on Qatar may not be in the interest of the countries joining forces against them

While the announcement that several Middle Eastern counties including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Yemen were outright banning all relations with Qatar, the fact that they actually did it has had reverberations across the globe. Saudi Arabia declared a complete ban on all air, sea and land routes into and out of Qatar while UAE and Bahrain demanded the expulsion of Qatari diplomats from their countries. At last count, Libya and Maldives had joined the growing chorus against Qatar. Qatar is a tiny emirate jutting out as a peninsula from Saudi Arabia towards Iran. While it is a member of the international oil supplying nation group Organisation ...

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Is Pakistan willing to jeopardise its relations with Iran for Saudi Arabia?

It was shocking to hear Defence Minister Khwaja Asif proudly confirm that the government has agreed to the Saudi request and will allow former army chief General (retd) Raheel Sharif to command the Saudi-led military alliance of 34 Muslim nations to fight terrorism. However, observers are concerned that the coalition could be used for future conflicts against Iran and its ally Yemen.  The National Assembly had earlier agreed that it would not be in the country’s interest to take sides in the present war between Saudi Arabia and Yemen (Iran’s ally), and had decided that Pakistan would stay neutral in the ...

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As a Muslim, I strongly support the right to ban the veil

I was raised as an observant Muslim in a British family. Women, I was taught, determine their own conduct — including their ‘veiling’. We’d cover our hair only if we freely chose to do so. That’s why I’m baffled by the notion that all good Muslim women should cover their hair or face. My entire family is puzzled by it too, as are millions like us. Not until recent years has the idea taken root that Muslim women are obliged by their faith to wear a veil. It’s a sign, I think, not of assertive Islam, but of what happens ...

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Can Asghar Farhadi bag another Oscar for The Salesman?

The Salesman is the new Iranian film by master filmmaker, Asghar Farhadi.  The story revolves around an Iranian couple (Shahab Hosseini and Taraneh Alidoosti) who after an earthquake, are forced to move into a new apartment. They both work as actors and are relatively happy with their current situation. But tragedy strikes when an intruder invades their home in the absence of the husband and he is now in search for the culprit. Taraneh Alidoosti and Shahab Hosseini in Forushande (The Salesman). Photo: Habib Majidi/IMDb Taraneh Alidoosti and Shahab Hosseini in Forushande (The Salesman). Photo: Habib ...

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Russia will never sabotage its alliance with Iran for Donald Trump

As I write these lines, Washington is abuzz with the news of Donald Trump’s top security advisor, Michael Flynn’s resignation. The White House is trying to clean up the mess Flynn’s rather over-zealously erratic act created, ending up in critics looking at the election victory in a whole new light.  Ironically, Trump saw in Flynn the capability to penetrate the Russian iron curtain by virtue of his connections with Moscow. Ironically also, it was Flynn who had put Iran on an unexplained and unelaborated ‘notice’ early February – an ill-conceived, rhetoric ridden, flash in the pan type of a half-step that really just reiterated Washington’s unsavoury ...

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Are the voices of the world enough to end the absurdity behind the #MuslimBan?

The media went on overdrive when Donald Trump, immediately after inauguration, followed through on his promise for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims”. The New York Times reported:  “The president’s order… suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, barred Syrian refugees indefinitely and blocked entry into the United States for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.” When The Express Tribune asked if I wanted to write a blog on the Muslim ban, I started taking notes, and by the time I finished a draft, ...

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