Iran v Saudi Arabia: it’s politics

Abu Bakr Al Shamahi Middle East/North Africa, Saudi Arabia

There have been a lot of articles and amazingly fascinating fact boxes on the split between Shia and Sunni Muslims, written, I’m guessing, by people who don’t know their Karbala from their Kelloggs, in an attempt to explain the dispute between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Normally, when I read an article that says something along the lines of “the people …

The Saudi-ISIS myth and the Iran Deal PR imbalance

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa, Saudi Arabia

The Iran deal has been good for Iran from every angle, particularly on the PR front. By agreeing to the stringent technical conditions on its nuclear program, Iran has presented itself as a country genuinely striving for peace in the midst of animosity and a country demonstrating restraint and perseverance in this endeavour. In particular, it has presented itself as …

Iran Deal: What happens now in the region?

Sami Hamdi Iran, Middle East/North Africa, World Politics

After tense, lengthy negotiations, the P5+1 and Iran penned the long awaited nuclear deal that will see sanctions lifted and the Iranian nuclear programme reined in to lengthen the time Iran would need to build a nuclear weapon. However given the ongoing situation in the region; notably Iran’s support for rampant militias in Iraq; a brutal regime in Syria that has plunged the country into a bloody civil war; and Hezbollah in Lebanon which has effectively prevented the appointment of a President for over a year and half, the concessions granted to Iran are nothing short of incredible.

‘Iran is an empire and Baghdad is its Capital’ – a statement of truth

Sami Hamdi Iran, Iraq, Middle East/North Africa

Ali Younsi, advisor to President Hassan Rouhani on religious and minority affairs, stated that Iran is now an empire and Baghdad is its Capital. Such a brazen statement appears to have generally been ignored as fanciful and wishful thinking at best. However, in reality, Ali Younsi’s statement carries much truth as Iraqi forces, led by Hadi al Amiri publicly and …

Editor’s Piece: Iran at Saudi Arabia’s doors

Sami Hamdi Iran, Middle East/North Africa, Saudi Arabia

On Friday, Sadr al-Din al Qabanji in Najaf criticised the Saudi verdict to execute the Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, one of the most influential figures amongst the minority Shia population to the east of the Kingdom. Following the verdict, Iran and its proxies – Houthi in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon – issued a series of threats prompting concerns of …