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: Egypt’s Brutal Crackdown, Syrian-Related Diplomacy, and Israelis and Palestinians Negotiate

by Robert M. Danin
Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi carry a man who was wounded by rubber bullets and affected by tear gas during clashes with riot police on the Sixth of October Bridge over the Ramsis square area in central Cairo July 15, 2013 (Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters). Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi carry a man who was wounded by rubber bullets and affected by tear gas during clashes with riot police on the Sixth of October Bridge over the Ramsis square area in central Cairo July 15, 2013 (Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Developments

Egypt. President Barack Obama today strongly condemned the Egyptian military’s use of force and announced the cancellation of next month’s joint U.S.-Egyptian “Bright Star” military exercise. Obama was reacting to Egypt’s crackdown on supporters of deposed president Mohammad Morsi last night that left over five hundred people dead and thousands injured. The assault on the protest encampments prompted retaliatory attacks against government buildings.  Interim vice president Mohammad ElBaradei resigned last night over the continuing violence. Secretary of State John Kerry last night called the events “deplorable” and “counter to Egyptian aspirations for peace, inclusion, and genuine democracy.” The Morsi supporters had been camped out since the Egyptian military removed President Morsi from power on July 3. Read more »

Middle East Matters This Week: Syria at Center Stage as Iran Talks Drag On

by Robert M. Danin
A member of the Free Syrian Army holds his weapon as he sits on a sofa in the middle of a street in Deir al-Zor April 2, 2013 (Ashawi/Courtesy Reuters). A member of the Free Syrian Army holds his weapon as he sits on a sofa in the middle of a street in Deir al-Zor April 2, 2013 (Ashawi/Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Developments

Syria. Israel publicly warned Syrian president Bashar Assad to stop transferring advanced weapons to Hezbollah yesterday. In an unusual move, a senior Israeli official contacted the New York Times on Wednesday and was then quoted by the paper saying that “Israel is determined to continue to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah,” arguing that such a move would destabilize the region. Read more »

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 »