MENA Monitor Articles
A year ago, in August, the Taliban took over the government in Afghanistan. Since then, a lot has changed for the state and its inhabitants.
The US Department of Justice informed the US public about the Iranian government’s plan to assassinate John Bolton, a former White House national security adviser. The American politician exposed himself to the rulers in Tehran with his critical comment on a member of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
On July 18, 2022, Musa Al-Hajj, Archbishop of Lebanese Maronites, was detained on his way back home and arrested after crossing the Lebanese-Israeli border. Officials in Lebanon accuse the archbishop of breaking the law, contributing to the normalization of relations with Israel. On July 24, 2022, the decision of the Lebanese authorities was met with protests from Christian believers.
The 25th of July 2022, celebrates the national emblematic day of Tunisia’s Republic. This Monday the 25th of July 2022, is once again marked as a critical date and possibly as a turning point, almost a decade after the introduction of Tunisia’s renewed Constitution back in 2014. Voting polls on a constitutional referendum closed at around 23:00 CET on the same day. The result of which will determine whether Tunisia will adopt a new Constitution by the hand of president Kais Saied.
As part of the Astana Process Summit, a three-country meeting on Syria took place. The Turkish, Russian and Iranian sides held talks in the bilateral and trilateral formats and discussed key issues. Iran and Syria turned out to be the biggest winners of meetings at the level of heads of state. Due to the steps taken to end the civil war in Syria, military intervention in Syria was not allowed. Iran has entered into new business relations with Russia that will allow the development of their energy infrastructure. An unofficial alliance was formed between the two countries.
Over the past week, Joe Biden’s presence in the Middle East area may have contributed to the development of events in armed conflicts in Yemen and Syria. The sensitive issue for Muslims of Palestinian access to Jerusalem has been sidelined by the US Presidential Administration due to the support of the American public for the Israeli political system.
Joe Biden supported the position of Turkey, which agreed to the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO before the negotiations at the Madrid summit, thanks to the signing of a tripartite memorandum. The decision was made that the most important pillar of NATO’s new defense doctrine was the fight against terrorism. This issue may be considered individually by the states of the North Atlantic Treaty as the forces of the alliance may not necessarily jointly undertake specific actions in the fight against Kurdish or any other terrorism. Turkey’s compromise allowed to face the situation that has been going on since May 2022.
According to the Tasnim news agency, two people on a motorcycle shot Colonel Hassan Sayad Khodayari outside his home on one of Tehran’s best-guarded streets, which also houses Parliament. The attack is reminiscent of other killings in which the perpetrators used motorcycles, especially including those targeted at Iranian nuclear scientists.
The Middle East region is nowadays considered one of the least stable areas in the world. The main factor contributing to this state of affairs is the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This conflict has not been resolved so far, despite the fact that in the 1990s a peace process was initiated. All mediation and negotiation attempts have stalled due to the complexity of the problem and the conditions that must be met by both sides for a lasting peace. Efforts to create a Palestinian state have continued, but successive conflicts between Palestine and Israel have hampered the peace process. Although both sides have repeatedly declared their willingness to resume peace talks, the criteria they set for each other result in the negotiations continuing to fail.
The fifth round of talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran took place in late April this year. Previous talks have focused mainly on issues concerning pilgrimage to Mecca and have been led by lower-level officials. The latest talks involve the foreign ministries of both countries, which indicates the willingness of both sides to bring “their own efforts” (without U.S. involvement) to resolve the most difficult conflicts in the region that pose a threat to their economies.
The government of Saudi Arabia (the world’s largest oil exporter) says preliminary estimates indicate that the country’s economy grew by 9.6% in Q1 2022, and if those estimates are confirmed, it will be the highest growth rate since 2011, according to the Saudi General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT).
Human Rights Watch concludes from its research that the Israeli government has demonstrated an intention to maintain the domination of Jewish Israelis over Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). In OPTs, including East Jerusalem, this intention has been combined with systematic oppression of Palestinians and acts of violence committed against them. When these three elements occur together, they make up the crime of apartheid. According to the report, Israeli officials also committed the crime of persecution against humanity.
Following a series of socio-political protests in 2011, Tunisia introduced a democratic system, which had been preceded by the departure of the then President, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. At the time, few suspected that a decade later the opposite would occur and democracy would be threatened. The actions led by President Kais Saied pose a serious jeopardy to the democracy that Tunisians fought for ten years ago.
More than 100 ISIL (ISIS) fighters launched an attack on Ghweran prison in Hasakah last week, detonating three car bombs. The rebels stormed the compound in an attempt to free thousands of their comrades who were detained after the group’s defeat in 2019.