The National (UAE)

Iraq's Lasting Success Will Be Measured in Barrels Per Day

June 20, 2011 |

Less than two years ago, Iraq launched one of the largest oil field auctions in the history of the petroleum industry. Amid red carpets and television cameras, top executives from the world's major energy giants - from Beijing to Houston, from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur - flew to Baghdad to take their seats at the live event, hoping to win a concession. On offer were some of the richest and potentially most fertile fields in the world, in a country that could one day emerge as the largest reserves holder in the world.

Erdogan's Star Is Still Rising — and Turkey Is Willing To Follow

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
June 14, 2011 |

In the spring of 1999, the mayor of Istanbul, a rising young politician with Islamist leanings, was sentenced to 10 months in jail after falling foul of Turkey's powerful generals. This military elite, often referred to as "the deep state", had deposed four prime ministers since 1960, so taking on a mayor - even in a city as important as Istanbul - was routine business.

They charged him with "inciting religious hatred" for quoting a century-old poem with Islamist themes. Defiant, the mayor vowed to his supporters: "This song is not yet over!"

The Dividend of the Revolution is a Weaker Economy

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
June 8, 2011 |

When Egyptians took to the streets celebrating the departure of the long-reigning president Hosni Mubarak nearly four months ago, a wave of euphoria seemed to grip the country. A new dawn beckoned. Exhilaration abounded. The Egyptian people would decide their own destiny.

Today, while much of that pride remains, according to a newly released poll conducted by the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center, an undercurrent of anxiety about the economy and security has settled in. The dawn has broken, but the future is foggy.

Iran's Nuclear Plan Stirs U.S. Rancour | The National (UAE)

June 18, 2011

Afshin Molavi, a senior fellow with the New America Foundation, a Washington think tank, said there was a tendency for opinions to be "hysterical" on the topic of Iran. Reputations are not the only thing at stake. The reference to Mr Hersh's "bias ...

Israel's Slide into Reactionary Politics Spells the End of Oslo | The National (UAE)

May 31, 2011

What's changed, notes the former Israeli peace negotiator Daniel Levy, is that the Israeli mainstream has moved closer to Netanyahu's position. Levy, writing in Foreign Affairs, notes that the party of Yitzhak Rabin and the Oslo process has been ...

As China's Growth Slows, the World Will Feel the Pinch

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
March 16, 2011 |

The Chinese premier Wen Jiabao is not a man given to revolutionary rhetoric. He normally speaks in the dry, careful language characteristic of Beijing's leaders. But six words he uttered last week could have revolutionary consequences for China, the world, and the Middle East.

Did he comment on Libya's civil war? On rising oil prices? On Middle East unrest? None of the above. In fact, he simply made a matter-of-fact declaration about China's future economic intentions. Here were the six words: "We will actively boost consumer demand."

Invoking the Arab Spring, Iran Rewrites its Own History

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
April 6, 2011 |

The late British statesman Winston Churchill once noted: "The best way to make history is to write it." The Islamic Republic of Iran has been busy mimicking the advice, writing its own "history" of recent Arab upheavals.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's most powerful man, praised recent revolts in several Arab countries as "Islamic awakenings" with "Islamic objectives and orientation". President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the Egypt and Tunisia uprisings were inspired by Iran's "defiance" against western powers.

Ahmadinejad Challenged Iran's Clerics — and Lost

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
May 11, 2011 |

The top commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps delivered an explosive speech last week, suggesting that "internal evils" within Iran have been "organised to defeat the revolution". He warned that the political figures who represent "internal evils" violated the constitution - an offence that carries a potential jail term. Finally, General Mohammed Ali Jafari vowed to defeat them and protect the system.

'Middle East' Is Pulled Towards Asia by Economics and Affinity

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
May 25, 2011 |

This newspaper is published in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, a city in the Middle East. Why is that so? Because an early 20th century American naval strategist decided it would be so - not the part about the newspaper or the city, but the region's name: the Middle East.

UK-U.S. 'Special Relationship' Is 'Essential for World' Say Obama and Cameron | The National (UAE)

May 24, 2011

Steve Clemons, from a Washington-based think-tank, the New America Foundation, told the BBC yesterday: "Mr Obama has been incrementally de-emphasising the UK-US relationship as the place to start in the international community, not because Mr Obama ...

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