Robert M. Danin

Middle East Matters

Danin analyzes critical developments and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

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Showing posts for "Bahrain"

Middle East Matters This Week: Syrian Chemical Weapons, Iraqi Violence, and U.S. Regional Engagement

by Robert M. Danin
Residents wear masks as they search for bodies in Aleppo (Salman/Courtesy Reuters). Residents wear masks as they search for bodies in Aleppo (Salman/Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Developments

Syria. Syrian officials today denied international allegations that Bashar al-Assad’s forces had used chemical weapons in Syria. Yesterday, the White House sent a letter to Congressional leaders stating that U.S.  intelligence agencies assessed “with varying degrees of confidence” that Assad’s government had used the chemical agent sarin on a small scale. Read more »

Middle East Matters This Week: Egypt, Syria, and Iran

by Robert M. Danin
Coptic Christians run inside the main cathedral in Cairo as police fire tear gas and Muslims throw rocks and firebombs April 7, 2013 (Waguih/Courtesy Reuters).. Coptic Christians run inside the main cathedral in Cairo as police fire tear gas and Muslims throw rocks and firebombs April 7, 2013 (Waguih/Courtesy Reuters)..

Significant Developments

Egypt. An Egyptian Coptic Christian died today from injuries sustained during sectarian violence over the past week, bringing the total number of deaths to eight. Violence erupted outside Egypt’s main Coptic Christian Cathedral in Cairo on Sunday after street battles between Christians and Muslims in the town of Khosoos left five people dead on Saturday. Read more »

Middle East Matters This Week: Israel, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, and Iraq

by Robert M. Danin
Yair Lapid, head of Yesh Atid party stands behind Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and president Shimon Peres at a reception following the swearing-in ceremony of the 19th Knesset, the new Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem February 5, 2013 (Zvulun/Courtesy Reuters).. Yair Lapid, head of Yesh Atid party stands behind Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and president Shimon Peres at a reception following the swearing-in ceremony of the 19th Knesset, the new Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem February 5, 2013 (Zvulun/Courtesy Reuters)..

Significant Developments

Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared poised to form a new government today with Yair Lapid, leader of the Yesh Atid party, and Naftali Bennett, leader of the Habayit Hayehudi party. The coalition agreement is expected to be signed tomorrow. Read more »

Middle East Matters This Week: Struggles in Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria

by Robert M. Danin
Tunisian prime minister Hamadi Jebali arrives for a round of consultations with other political parties at the Carthage Palace in Tunis, February 15, 2013 (Mili/Courtesy Reuters). Tunisian prime minister Hamadi Jebali arrives for a round of consultations with other political parties at the Carthage Palace in Tunis, February 15, 2013 (Mili/Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Developments

Tunisia. Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali pledged to announce a government of technocrats tomorrow, following intensive consultations with a variety of party leaders today. Jebali recently sacked his cabinet and called for new elections after the assassination of prominent opposition leader Chokri Belaid on February 6. Read more »

Middle East Matters This Week: Israel Strikes Syria, Egypt Seeks Unity, and Iran Upgrades Enrichment

by Robert M. Danin
A protester opposing Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi holds a homemade gun during clashes with riot police, along Qasr Al Nil bridge in Cairo on January 27, 2013 (Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters). A protester opposing Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi holds a homemade gun during clashes with riot police, along Qasr Al Nil bridge in Cairo on January 27, 2013 (Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Developments

Syria. Israel reportedly conducted an airstrike inside Syria on Wednesday for the first time since 2007, igniting protests from the Assad regime as well as Syria’s allies Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah. Conflicting reports have emerged about the target; U.S., Israeli, and Lebanese sources have been quoted claiming Israel struck a convoy carrying advanced SA-17 anti-aircraft weapons heading into Lebanon. Read more »

Middle East Matters This Week: Egypt’s Contentious Vote and Syria’s Fraying Grip

by Robert M. Danin
An Egyptian votes on the new Egyptian constitution at the Egyptian embassy in Amman on December 12, 2012 (Jarekji/Courtesy Reuters).. An Egyptian votes on the new Egyptian constitution at the Egyptian embassy in Amman on December 12, 2012 (Jarekji/Courtesy Reuters)..

Significant Middle East Developments

Egypt. The National Salvation Front, Egypt’s newly formed opposition group headed by prominent figures Mohammed El Baradei, Hamdeen Sabahi, and Amre Moussa, urged followers yesterday to vote “no” on Saturday’s referendum on the draft constitution. They conditioned the opposition’s participation in the vote on full judicial oversight at all polling places, independent and international monitors, and adequate security. Read more »

Middle Eastern Reactions to President Obama’s Reelection

by Robert M. Danin
U.S. ambassador to Iraq Robert Stephen Beecroft speaks during a news conference in Baghdad after the announcement of Obama's victory on November 7, 2012 (Mohammed/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. ambassador to Iraq Robert Stephen Beecroft speaks during a news conference in Baghdad after the announcement of Obama's victory on November 7, 2012 (Mohammed/Courtesy Reuters).

“It made my day… I and my friends expected war if Romney won.” – Sima, a businesswoman in Tehran

“President Obama will press for human rights and democracy to leave his marks in history…Also, the re-election reinforces the drive for peace rather than wars in the region especially with regards to Iran.” – Jasim Husain, a former MP and economist in Bahrain Read more »

Middle East Matters: Voices From the Region

by Robert M. Danin
Yousif Muhafdah from the Bahrain Center for Human Rights at an anti-government rally in Bilad al-Qadeem on 19 October, 2012 (Mohammed/Courtesy Reuters). Yousif Muhafdah from the Bahrain Center for Human Rights at an anti-government rally in Bilad al-Qadeem on 19 October, 2012 (Mohammed/Courtesy Reuters).

“In the United States, you have a new elected president every four years. But here we are living with a king and the same prime minster for forty-two years.” – Yousif al-Muhafdah, a Bahraini human rights activist on Friday

“The behavior of the Syrian popular forces  is very similar to that of the Iranian Basij, therefore it is assumed that Iranian forces are present…If we are talking about the transfer and sharing of experience [between Iran and Syria] then it is only natural that such a thing should exist, but we are focusing on the fact that there are no Iranian forces present in Syria.” – Muhammad Reza Naghdi, commander of Iran’s Basij volunteer paramilitary force, said Wednesday according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency Read more »

Middle East Matters This Week: Egypt Clashes, Turkey-Syria Escalate, Israel Calls Elections

by Robert M. Danin
A member of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporter of Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi punches an anti-Brotherhood protester at Tahrir Square on October 12, 2012 (Chany/Courtesy Reuters). A member of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporter of Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi punches an anti-Brotherhood protester at Tahrir Square on October 12, 2012 (Chany/Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Middle East Developments

Egypt. Hundreds of people were injured today when supporters and opponents of Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi clashed violently in Tahrir Square for the first time since the president took office in June. Morsi’s critics took to the streets primarily to demand a more representative Constituent Assembly, the body tasked with writing Egypt’s new constitution. They also protested the president’s performance to date. Read more »

Middle East Matters This Week: Violence, Demonstrations, Evacuations, and Conciliation

by Robert M. Danin
Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addresses his supporters during a public appearance at an anti-U.S. protest in Beirut's southern suburbs on September 17, 2012 (Hasan Shaaban/Courtesy Reuters). Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addresses his supporters during a public appearance at an anti-U.S. protest in Beirut's southern suburbs on September 17, 2012 (Hasan Shaaban/Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Middle East Developments

Libya. U.S. deputy secretary of state William Burns flew into Tripoli today to meet with Libyan officials and to attend a ceremony in honor of Ambassador Chris Stevens and the three other Americans killed last week in Benghazi. Burns met with Foreign Minister Ashur Ben Khayal, Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagur and Mohammed al-Megaryef, head of the national assembly. Read more »