What Trump Could Do for Iran – Alsharq al-Aswat (Saudi Arabia)
Amir Taheri, an Iranian-born journalist who left Iran after the revolution, analyzes whether or not the Iranian ruling elite will choose at this point to resist or accommodate the U.S., and how both of these strategies have played out over the years – and failed.
Taheri notes that Iran’s influence in the world has waned: Syria has found that Putin is a stronger protector of their interests and is sidelining Iran, which they view as an embarrassment. The Houthis in Yemen have done the same, pushing Iranian military personnel to neighboring Oman. Even Iran’s influence on Lebanon is not as great as it was.
“The looming crisis in Iran may be an opportunity for Iranians, both in the regime and those opposed to it, to decide whether they wish Iran to behave like a vehicle for a bankrupt ideology or like a nation-state with the legitimate, quantifiable and rationally analyzable interests of a nation-state,” he writes.
Taheri compares the situation in Iran today to when President Richard Nixon helped the People’s Republic of China rebrand itself itself into a nation-state and a similar role Ronald Reagan played with the Soviet Union.
“Today, President Donald Trump has a similar opportunity with Iran by encouraging its transformation from the vehicle of a sick ideology into a regular member of the community of nations,” he says. (You can read his very interesting article in English by clicking here.)
Proof that the Obama Administration Gave Millions to al-Qaeda in Sudan – Masrawy (Egypt) and Alarabiya (Saudi Arabia)
Both of these Arabic outlets reported a story that appeared in the National Review, which revealed, “The Obama administration approved a grant of $200,000 of taxpayer money to an al-Qaeda affiliate in Sudan — a decade after the U.S. Treasury designated it as a terrorist-financing organization. More stunningly, government officials specifically authorized the release of at least $115,000 of this grant even after learning that it was a designated terror organization.”
The Road to Manhattan Started in Tehran – Alarabiya (Saudi Arabia)
In his testimonies and memoirs, the “third man of al-Qaeda” and chief adviser to Bin Laden Mahfouz Ould al-Walid relates the relationship between Iran and al-Qaeda. Summarizing, Alarabiya notes, “Al-Qaeda’s relationship with Iran began in the early 1980s, but fully developed before the September 11 attacks. The CIA’s testimony, as reported by Asharq al-Awsat in March of 2016 confirms that many of the September 11 twin attacks’ perpetrators received support from Iran, in two stages; at the beginning through financial support and then through strategic field support.” (You can read this fascinating report about al-Qaeda’s disagreement with Bin Laden re: 9/11 in English by clicking here.)
Turkey & the U.S. – A Stable Alliance or Escalating Grievances? – Yemen Akhbar (Yemen)
The latest dispute between Ankara and Washington is the crown in a series of recent disputes on a number of key issues that haven’t been resolved as yet.
It is expected to create tension between the two countries for an extended period of time. Other sources of ongoing tension between the countries include:
- American support to Kurdish fighters in Syria
- Disagreement about the coordination between Turkey, Russia and Iran in Syria
- The current coziness between Ankara and Moscow (joint energy projects, weapons sales, etc.)
- Turkey’s demand for U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen to be extradited to Turkey (Erdogan claims Gulen was behind the attempted coup against him in the summer of 2016)
Qatar Building Billion Dollar Air Base to Please America – Emarat Al-Youm (UAE)
Qatar is developing a military base called Al-Udeid at a cost of $1.8 billion to make its strategic ally, America, happy. The project includes residential areas and service buildings to accommodate American military personnel in Qatar and encourage them to stay in Qatar permanently.