Rouhani says Iran and U.S. tensions are at ‘a maximum’

LONDON (Reuters) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday relations with the United States had rarely been so bad and that sanctions imposed by the Trump administration targeting Tehran’s oil and banking sectors amounted to “a terrorist act”. Animosity … Read More

Saudi outreach to Israel ‘faces setbacks’ after Khashoggi crisis

posted in: Middle East, News

WSJ says Saudi effort to forge ties with Israel is sputtering after crown prince was implicated in journalist’s murder. Prince Mohammed’s role has weakened after Khashoggi’s murder, the Wall Street Journal wrote [File: Sergio Moraes/ Reuters] A covert US-backed initiative … Read More

Nikki Haley: Mohammed bin Salman ‘has to lose’ his ‘thuggish nature’

posted in: Middle East, News

In a gaggle with a small group of journalists on Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told me that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been “careless at times” and “has to lose the thuggish nature … Read More

Trump: U.S. Troops will remain in the Middle East for Israel

posted in: News, United States

  “Oil is becoming less and less of a reason to stay in the Middle East because we’re producing more oil now than we’ve ever produced,” Trump said. We have reached a point where we don’t have to stay in … Read More

Israel-Arab ties warm up after long deep freeze

posted in: Israel, News

The Omani sultan hosted Mr Netanyahu, despite the absence of diplomatic relations – AFP Israel’s leaders often refer to their country being in a “tough neighbourhood” but recently there have been some extraordinary signs of friendliness with parts of the … Read More

MbS: The New Saddam Of Arabia?

posted in: Middle East, News

As Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) has terrorized his opponents at home and abroad, fear has spread within the Saudi kingdom. Has he become the new Saddam of Arabia? As Iraq’s Saddam Hussein did in the 1980s, MbS is cementing his … Read More

Saudi Arabia: Jamal Khashoggi killed after fight in Turkey consulate

Eighteen Saudis are said to have been arrested as the kingdom “expresses its deep regret” over Mr Khashoggi’s death. Authorities have audio of Mr Khashoggi being tortured and murdered, according to Turkish media Saudi Arabia has said Jamal Khashoggi was killed … Read More

Evidence suggests crown prince ordered Khashoggi killing, says ex-MI6 chief

Sir John Sawers says theory that rogue Saudi military officers were responsible is ‘blatant fiction’  Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Photograph: Cliff Owen/AP A former head of MI6 has said all the evidence suggests Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman … Read More