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Iran: Back in Business and The New Best Friends

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 02.08.2016 | Business
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani has been on a shopping spree in Europe to reap benefits from business deals worth billions of dollars. The red carpet was rolled out for him, and he was invited to some of the most esteemed locations on the continent to meet with business and political leaders.

Can Tourism Save Oman from Cheap Oil?

Giorgio Cafiero | Posted 02.03.2016 | World
Giorgio Cafiero

Of all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, non-OPEC Oman is most vulnerable to low oil prices. In the 1990s, the sultanate discovered that its oil reserves were substantially smaller than previously thought and Oman's sovereign wealth fund is a fraction of the size of other GCC nations.

Analyst: Worsening Crisis in Saudi-Iranian Relations Further Destabilizes the Middle East

Giorgio Cafiero | Posted 01.29.2016 | World
Giorgio Cafiero

Riyadh's decision to execute Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr at the start of this month, the Iranian response, and the political fallout have raised the Middle East's sectarian temperatures to the highest level since the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.

U.S. Lifted Sanctions Against Iran -- Ordinary People's Reaction?

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 01.25.2016 | World
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

When the nuclear deal was reached in July 2015, Iranians celebrated on the streets. One would have imagined greater celebration when the deal was actually implemented this week, but the streets have been quiet, and Iranian media have downplayed the lifting of sanctions.

Iran's Nuclear Deal: Sanctions are Lifted, What is Next?

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 01.17.2016 | Politics
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

Will Iran continue to comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regulations? Will the extra cash, coming out of sanctions relief, trickle down to the Iranian people?

Companies Are Lining Up to Do Business with Iran. Are You Falling Behind?

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 01.15.2016 | Business
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

If smaller firms know the process, where to start, how to connect and communicate, they can potentially have a better shot at reaping the benefits of the Iranian economy. I would be delighted to shed light on the nuances, but Illustrating and explaining the whole process is out the realm and given space for this article.

Israel's Diplomatic Overture to the UAE

Daniel Wagner | Posted 01.12.2016 | World
Daniel Wagner

Israel's extended olive branch to the UAE occurs within a complicated geopolitical context, in which some traditional alliances are strained, several states are exploring new partnerships and various actors are seizing upon newly generated opportunities in the region.

Will Iran and Saudi Arabia Go Into War?

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 01.10.2016 | World
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

Has assaulting embassies turned into an inherent and symbolic tactic in the Islamic Republic's political establishment to indirectly express Tehran's rivalry towards other countries and to show disrespect to them?

Iran, Middle East, and ISIS in 2016: Re-entering the Global Market Politico-Economic

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 01.02.2016 | Politics
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

The "Implementation Day" of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which is in early 2016, will give Iran tremendous sanctions relief. After Implementation Day, Iran's global legitimacy will rise, and foreign businesses will be permitted to operate in the country.

Iran Breached the Nuclear Deal -- Iran's Largest Ballistic Arsenal in the Middle East

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 12.24.2015 | World
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

These developments suggests that not only did the nuclear deal not temper Iran's foreign policy, IRGC leaders appear to be more empowered to manifest their military capabilities.

Media Has Symbiotic Ties With ISIS? Ignoring Other Terrorist Groups

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 12.20.2015 | World
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

There seems to be a symbiotic relationship between the mainstream media and ISIS. On one hand, ISIS receives the publicity it needs from CNN, Fox News, etc. On the other hand, these networks increase their ratings, viewers, readers and advertisement revenues.

Iran's Fighters Are Dying in Syria -- Will it Change Anything?

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 12.06.2015 | World
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

While Iranian leaders project that they are fighting ISIS, Iranian forces are not anywhere close to an ISIS stranglehold. Instead, they appear to be battling Syrian rebel groups, including the Free Syrian Army, to force them to retreat or prevent them from capturing more territories in Aleppo, Latakia and Damascus.

Syrian Caricaturist Ali Ferzat 'Draws' Foes' Ire

Magda Abu-Fadil | Posted 12.06.2015 | Media
Magda Abu-Fadil

The unrepentant caricaturist was hospitalized, eventually recovered and left his homeland, but continued to draw -- his pen and tongue as sharp as ever.

Iran-Russia: Khamenei and Putin's Courtship

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 11.30.2015 | World
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei rarely meets with world leaders, but this week he hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin, who made his first visit to Iran since 2007. Putin held talks with Khamenei and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani.

Paris Attacks: Iran Criticizes the West, ISIS 'Bit the Leg of Its Owners'

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 11.24.2015 | Politics
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

The reaction of the Iranian political establishment in regards to the shootings and bombings in Paris has been intriguing and contradicting.

Behold the Beauty of Bhutan

Emily O'Dell | Posted 12.07.2015 | Travel
Emily O'Dell

Two weeks ago, I headed to the Himalayas for the adventure of a lifetime in the Kingdom of Bhutan. Since I was invited to speak at the Royal Palace...

Iran's Divided Domestic Politics -- Hardliners Reassert Leadership

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 11.16.2015 | Politics
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

The smiles of Iranian President Hassan Rowhani and his American-educated Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif appear to be fading as the hardliners take back the driver's seat. Rowhani spent all his political capital on the nuclear deal, to which the hardliners are reacting harshly.

The Chef, the Designer, the Dish and the Setting: Finding the Meaning of Life, and Cooking in Dubai

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 11.13.2015 | Travel
E. Nina Rothe

The reason I love doing what I do so much is because I often get to the heart and soul behind film, food and fashion.

The Failure Of Saudi Intervention In Yemen

Khairuldeen Al Makhzoomi | Posted 11.12.2015 | World
Khairuldeen Al Makhzoomi

Military operations resulted in an economic recession and deepened local infighting. Saudi Arabia has also lost soldiers in battle and faces increased retaliatory attacks. To avoid further bloodshed, it would be wise for Saudi Arabia to consider using diplomacy rather than facing the Houthis head-on.

Islamic Republic: "Death to America" Will Remain

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 11.10.2015 | Politics
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

The expectations that Western-Iran diplomatic relationships are improving was somewhat shattered when recently an overwhelming majority of Iranian lawmakers and parliamentarians stated that the Islamic Republic will not abandon the inflammatory slogan of "Death to America."

Khamenei's New Nuclear Conditions -- Khamenei Playing the U.S.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 11.01.2015 | Politics
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has masterfully sniffed out the weaknesses of President Obama and his administration, and the revelation of his new conditions on the nuclear deal suggests that Khamenei is ready to milk the administration more and obtain more concessions.

Rapidly Intensifying Cyclone Heading Toward Tumultuous Yemen

AP | Mehreen Kasana | Posted 10.31.2015 | World

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. weather agency says a rare and rapidly intensifying cyclone is poised to hit Yemen in the coming days, possibly dumping ...

No, Arab Gulf Countries Are Not Taking in Refugees

Chaker Khazaal | Posted 10.13.2015 | World
Chaker Khazaal

While the Arab states of the GCC might not have officially resettled any of the Syrian refugees, it would be incorrect to say that Arab states have not received any of the millions of Syrians who have been displaced since the civil war began.

Iran and U.S. to Intensify Tactical Cooperation

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 10.05.2015 | Politics
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

Since the U.S does not have clear and detailed policy towards the conflicts in the Middle East, and since the U.S policy is currently anchored in the wait-and-see foreign policy, Washington is more willing to delegate the task of fighting the Islamic State or resolving the crisis in Syria and Yemen, to Tehran and Moscow or other nations.

Iran is Offering to Resolve Yemen's War; The Agenda?

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 09.26.2015 | Politics
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

Iranian officials' rhetoric and tone on the Yemen crisis has slightly changed. This change was initiated because of the shift in Iran's foreign policy regarding how to use "diplomacy" and the appropriate wording in order to achieve Tehran's ideological, geopolitical and economic objectives.