Unless oil prices go way up, Algeria is in a world of hurt.
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced on Thursday the dissolution of the lower house of parliament and called for early legislative elections. In an address to the nation, Tebboune also said he would carry out a government reshuffle in the coming days. The move coincides with renewed protests in Algeria to mark the second anniversary of the popular protest movement that forced longtime President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign. Despite his toppling, the demonstrations continued as Algerians demanded a transition to democracy and the trial of figures linked to the former regime. Authorities have since arrested and sentenced dozens connected with the protests, but in his Thursday address, Tebboune announced the pardoning of 60 people. Read More
By Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Raphael Ofek, February 19, 2021
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Samples recently collected by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors at two Iranian sites showed traces of radioactivity. Tehran had not reported any nuclear activity at these sites and denied IAEA inspectors access to them until just a few months ago. The findings suggest that Iran, in violation of the JCPOA nuclear agreement it signed in July 2015, has continued to conduct activities related to nuclear military development.
Continue to full article ->
By Peter Berkowitz via RealClearPoliticsPeter Berkowitz writes that the Abraham Accords were forged between Israel and two Arab Gulf states, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, because all parties viewed that it was in their shared interest to counter the Islamic Republic of Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. Furthermore, these countries recognized extraordinary opportunities to develop commercial ties and launch educational and cultural exchanges. Berkowitz maintains that the Biden administration should expand upon its predecessor’s achievements by capitalizing on the shifting dynamics of the region and building on this diplomatic momentum in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.
By Dr. James M. Dorsey, February 28, 2021
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Back in 1991, in the immediate wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Israel desk of Armenia’s foreign ministry—populated at the time by fluent Hebrew speakers—waited for a phone call that never came. The ministry was convinced that Israel, with whom Armenia shared an experience of genocide, was a natural ally. But Israel never made the call. Their shared experience could not compete with Armenia’s Turkic nemesis, Azerbaijan, with which Armenia was at war over Nagorno-Karabakh—a majority ethnic Armenian enclave on Azerbaijani territory.
“The calculation was simple,” an Israeli official said at the time. “Azerbaijan has three strategic assets that Israel is interested in: Muslims, oil, and several thousand Jews. All Armenia has to offer is at best several hundred Jews.”
Continue to full article ->