Could ISIL stage a comeback?

The past year has witnessed a dramatic reversal of fortunes for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group, which suffered a stunning series of defeats in its former strongholds. From Mosul to Hawija in Iraq, and from Raqqa to al-Bab in Syria, ISIL has … Continue reading

Will Saudi and Iran reconcile?

Reports of potential Iraq-led mediation between Iran and Saudi Arabia come as the latter leads the third year of a costly, intractable war across its border in Yemen. A rapprochement with long-time rival Iran, which is backing opposing forces in … Continue reading

Can Qatar-Gulf rift be repaired?

Doha – A month since several Gulf countries and Egypt cut ties with Qatar, the opposing sides remain at a stalemate, as a heavily criticised list of “non-negotiable” demands hangs in the balance. Saudi Arabia and its allies – including … Continue reading

Iran’s economic lull

Tehran – The Grand Bazaar in Iran’s capital bustles with shoppers strolling past stacks of gold brocade pillowcases, rows of gleaming coffeepots and bins filled with red barberries. The din of afternoon chatter echoes off the bazaar’s high ceilings. …

Trump and the Iran nuclear deal

Should the Iran nuclear deal fall apart, the consequences for the Middle East region would be “unfathomable”, according to a new report from the International Crisis Group. The report, coming on the eve on Donald Trump’s inauguration, urges the US … Continue reading