Bilateral relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have been fraught with hostility, tension and confrontation. I recently had a first hand experience of this situation throughout my pilgrimage trip to Saudi Arabia.
European officials, describing recruitment efforts by the Islamic State in Bosnia Herzegovina, mired in a toxic mix of economic malaise and ethnic tension, reportedly fear they may regret having failed to tackle the country's structural problems in the two decades since the end of the Yugoslav wars.
After years of negotiations, the Islamic Republic and the six world powers, known as the P5+1; China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus Germany, are only a few days away from the June 30 deadline to seal a final nuclear deal.
What some clerics need to understand is that the real problem isn't the fact that someone has poked fun at extremist teachings, but that these extremist teachings exist and that those horrendous acts are occurring in the name of Islam.
I fear U.S. foreign policy has become dependent on politicians who prefer short-term gains over long-term strategies. They prefer confrontation instead of diplomacy.
Despite Washington's efforts to persuade its Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) allies that a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran would serve their long-term interests, most Gulf Arab monarchs remain far from sold.
With less than two weeks remaining before the nuclear deadline of June 30th, the progress between the six world powers (known as the p5+1; the United States, United Kingdom, China, France, Russia, plus Germany) and the Islamic Republic appears to be on the rise and auspicious for the involved parties.
Given the sorry state of affairs in the Middle East, it's easy to conclude there's no end in sight to the ongoing chaos, violence and upheaval. Yet it is also a land of miracles. How else to explain recent revelations about secret meetings between Saudi Arabia and Israel to address a common foe, Iran.
Last month, US officials traveled to Oman and held "secret" talks with a Houthi delegation. Both sides discussed the implementation of a ceasefire and a political transition in Yemen.
The military strategies of the United States and its regional allies focused on bombing campaigns, support for local militias, and inherently weak military forces to fight potential ground battles, have failed to defeat rebel forces in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya.
Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded. ...
The political capital invested by the Obama administration and the Rouhani government gives us good reasons to be not only "cautiously optimistic" but "optimistic" regarding the Iranian nuclear crisis.
When I recently visited Bahrain, the TSA agent reviewing my passport looked at me curiously and asked me, "Why did you visit Bahrain?" Simple answer: The Kingdom of Bahrain is a great extension to a Dubai or an Abu Dhabi trip. The flights are inexpensive and under an hour.
As rebel forces advance towards the mountainous Druze stronghold in Idlib province, Israel has to decide whether it should intervene in the Syrian civil war by arming the Druze while Saudi Arabia is faced with the choice between realpolitik and its religious doctrine which views the Druze as heretics.
In an unprecedented move, Iranian leaders have welcomed American oil companies to enter Iran, upon the condition that sanctions are lifted. This move suggests that the Islamic Republic is putting its economic interests ahead of its revolutionary ideological interests.
Washington's determination to defend much of the globe has made the U.S. an international sucker, especially vulnerable to manipulation by supposed friends.