MENA Monitor Articles
Lebanon. Economic crisis

Lebanon. Economic crisis

Between January 2020 and April 2021, prices of basic commodities in Lebanon increased by 350%. Taking into account the last two years, the increase amounts to 700%. The value of GDP decreased by about 40% from $55 billion in 2018 to $33 billion in 2020. On July 6, Prime Minister Hassan Diab appealed to the international community and the UN to provide help and prevent a humanitarian disaster and collapse of the country’s economy.

Increased Taliban Activity in Afghanistan

Increased Taliban Activity in Afghanistan

Taliban fighters have taken control of a key district in western Afghanistan where an important border crossing with Iran is situated. Recently the group has been claiming significant victories in key locations across the country. Taliban have captured areas bordering five countries – Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, China, and Pakistan. Foreign troops are ending their 20-year-long military intervention while the country’s internal security continues to deteriorate.

Iranian Principlists

Iranian Principlists

Iranian Principlists are a very heterogeneous party. The division into radicals and pragmatists is quite general. Within each of these blocs are parties and groups with conflicting interests, competing for influence and resources. The rift between them is also becoming more pronounced. This is particularly true of the increasingly clericalized radical wing. Repeated attempts to unite before elections have always failed. Moreover, they have never managed to unite around a single presidential candidate.

Iranian Political Parties, Factions, and Divisions

Iranian Political Parties, Factions, and Divisions

Initially, the post-revolutionary political parties were formed on the basis of groups fighting against the monarchy. Their members and founders had often stayed in imperial prisons, were the victims of the secret police (SAVAK), etc. Nowadays, parties are more elite organizations with a limited number of members and wavering supporters. Party coalitions have so far been ephemeral and formed on an ad hoc basis, before certain elections. In the Iranian political reality, the point of reference is not the parties but specific individuals and groups formed around them.

The Nuances of Iranian Politics

The Nuances of Iranian Politics

When describing Iranian politics, it is impossible to ignore one of its most controversial elements – the Guardian Council. The 12-member Council is a team of lawyers – half of its members include clergy who specialize in religious law and who are, of course, appointed by the rahbar. The other half are specialists in “secular” law, nominated by the Supreme Judicial Council and appointed by the Majlis.

The Iranian Political Scene

The Iranian Political Scene

Iran, due of its central position in the Middle East, its conflict with the US and Israel, as well as the constant emotions fueled by its aggressive rhetoric, is a frequent subject of analyses and news reports. Unfortunately, in this case, quantity does not go hand in hand with quality. Much of the discussion on Iran in the media is dominated by the “Twitter journalism” and press releases.

All Quiet on the Jerusalem Front

All Quiet on the Jerusalem Front

Recently, the world’s media have been abuzz with reports of yet another escalation of tensions between Israel and the Palestinians. One of the longest and most complex ongoing conflicts around the globe has once again manifested its presence to the public. Since May 10, thousands of rockets have already been launched from the Gaza Strip at Tel Aviv, among other targets. Israel immediately responded to Palestinian rocket fire. Hundreds of civilians have already lost their lives from the clashes. What factors have led to the renewed escalation of the conflict?

The “Abraham Accord” and the symbolic end of an era

The “Abraham Accord” and the symbolic end of an era

On Thursday, August 13, 2020, the world heard about an agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. The event has been dubbed the “Abraham Accord,” and while this is not the first time Israel has entered into official diplomatic ties with an Arab country, it is still a breakthrough in many ways.

Chinese-Saudi nuclear cooperation

Chinese-Saudi nuclear cooperation

According to a Wall Street Journal report, Chinese companies assisted Riyadh in the construction of an extraction facility for uranium yellowcake, which in a highly enriched state can be used to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran’s Economy in the Face of Sanctions and Pandemic, part 2

Iran’s Economy in the Face of Sanctions and Pandemic, part 2

Since the US implemented the policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran, media reports predicting the imminent bankruptcy of the country have become more frequent. The sanctions have put Iran into recessions, but despite the alarmist and highly biased media materials, the economic situation in Iran is not dramatic and does not threaten the collapse of the regime.

Iran’s Economy in the Face of Sanctions and Pandemic, part 1

Iran’s Economy in the Face of Sanctions and Pandemic, part 1

Since the US implemented the policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran, media reports predicting the imminent bankruptcy of the country have become more frequent. The sanctions have put Iran into recessions, but despite the alarmist and highly biased media materials, the economic situation in Iran is not dramatic and does not threaten the collapse of the regime.

The Iran-Haftar links in Libya

The Iran-Haftar links in Libya

Dr Ali Bakeer analyzes the potential connections between the current commander of the Tobruk-based Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iraq: Security Sector Reform regarding paramilitary units

Iraq: Security Sector Reform regarding paramilitary units

The degrees to which the various paramilitary groups, namely from the Popular Mobilisation Forces, or ‘al-Hashd ash-Shaabi’, have been merged with or maintain autonomy within the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) has a direct relation to the de facto political situation in the Iraqi parliament.

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