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Middle East Politics United States

Dueling Narratives in Iran Over U.S. Relations

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran was protected by bodyguards as he left the airport in Tehran on Saturday. ATTA KENARE / AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE — GETTY IMAGES Iran’s foreign minister said on Sunday that there was a “real chance” to reach an agreement with the United States over his country’s nuclear program, as long as Washington […]

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Middle East Politics United States

Netanyahu Dismisses Iranian President’s Remarks

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has dismissed as “media spin” a flurry of statements by the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, about the goals of his nation’s nuclear program and his willingness to engage in diplomacy regarding it, saying, “There is no need to be fooled by the words.” “The test is not […]

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Africa Arab World Middle East Politics Terrorism United States

Syria crisis: Gauging Russia’s reactions to strike scenario

There are two subjects Russians talk about a lot: history and geography. In recent days, there’s been much public discussion of both. Russian officials and the media have been constantly recalling “Yugoslavia – 1999”, “Iraq – 2003” and “Libya – 2011” as examples of Western military intervention which resulted in regime change. The suspicion in […]

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Arab World Human-Rights Middle East Politics Terrorism

Schneider: Egypt’s identity torn in two

When he joined his large family for the first Iftar (evening meal) of Ramadan in July, filmmaker and photographer Mohamed Radwan did not expect to find himself explaining to a hostile group why he had helped organize the sit-in at the Culture Ministry in Cairo and had marched on June 30 to oust Egyptian President […]

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Arab World Middle East Politics

Egypt: Morsi Spurned Deals, Seeing Military as Tamed

A funeral on Saturday for a victim of clashes in Cairo. MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE — GETTY IMAGES CAIRO — As President Mohamed Morsi huddled in his guard’s quarters during his last hours as Egypt’s first elected leader, he received a call from an Arab foreign minister with a final offer to end a […]

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Arab World Middle East Politics United States

The rise of Shia jihadism in Syria will fuel sectarian fires

Amid Syria’s worsening crisis, there is another unprecedented, yet overlooked phenomenon that bodes ill for the entire region: the rise of global Shia jihadism. The number of foreign Shia jihadists in Syria is arguably greater than Sunni ones. So what will this new trend mean? To be sure, foreign jihadists on both sides are destroying […]

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Middle East Politics

Syria: Hezbollah Commits to an All-Out Fight to Save Assad

Supporters watched a live broadcast of Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, at a rally in the Bekaa Valley. BEIRUT, Lebanon — The leader of the powerful Lebanese militant group Hezbollah decisively committed his followers on Saturday to an all-out battle in Syria to defeat the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad. He said the organization, founded to […]

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Arab World Middle East Politics

Mecca for the rich: Islam’s holiest site ‘turning into Vegas’

Historic and culturally important landmarks are being destroyed to make way for luxury hotels and malls, reports Jerome Taylor Behind closed doors – in places where the religious police cannot listen in – residents of Mecca are beginning to refer to their city as Las Vegas, and the moniker is not a compliment. Over the […]

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Arab World Islam Middle East Religion & Spirituality

New Grand Mufti elected in Egypt

Egypt has witnessed deadly violence, insecurity and price hikes, fuelling the political turmoil gripping the country. (Reuters) Shawqi Ibrahim Abdel Karim was elected on Monday to take over as Egypt’s next mufti, the government’s top interpreter of Islamic law, the highest Sunni Muslim institute in Islam announced. President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood is […]

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Middle East Politics

Iran ‘optimistic’ U.S. shifting its view on Tehran

Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi delivers a speech at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin February 4, 2013. Iran said on Sunday it was open to a U.S. offer of direct talks on its nuclear program and that six world powers had suggested a new round of nuclear negotiations this month, but […]

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