The writer is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, co-director of the University of Würzburg's Institute for Fan Culture, and the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog, and a book with the same title.
A recent online survey by scholars at two Dutch universities of Iranian attitudes towards religion has revealed a stunning rejection of state-imposed adherence to conservative religious mores as well as the role of religion in public life.
Turkey is leveraging its successful backing of Azerbaijan’s recent war against Armenia to counter Iran in the Caucasus and gradually challenge Russia in Central Asia, the heart of what Moscow considers its backyard.
Increasing strains between Pakistan and its traditional Arab allies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, is about more than Gulf states opportunistically targeting India’s far more lucrative market.
Saudi Arabia has taken multiple steps to polish its tarnished image in advance of this weekend’s hosting of the virtual summit of the G20 that groups the world’s foremost economies and in anticipation of an incoming Biden administration in the United States that is expected to be critical of Riyadh and potentially more conciliatory towards Iran and non-violent Islamists.
Weakened by Joe Biden’s electoral defeat of US President Donald J. Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu risks being caught between a rock and a hard place as Jordan, the Palestine Authority and the United Arab Emirates manoeuvre for control of what is to Jews the Temple Mount and to Muslims the Haram ash-Sharif, the third most holy site in Islam.
Ethiopia, an African darling of the international community, is sliding towards civil war as the coronavirus pandemic hardens ethnic fault lines. The consequences of prolonged hostilities could echo across East Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan didn’t miss a beat during his address to the United Nations General Assembly, insisting that he, unlike the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, would not accept a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is not endorsed by the Palestinians.
Here are two potential indicators of Chinese interest in moving ahead with a proposed USD 400 billion economic and military cooperation agreement with Iran: a Chinese push for Iranian membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and renewed interest in a China-Pakistan-Iran-Turkey energy pipeline. China has moved on neither.