August 07, 2019 04:48 PM DER SPIEGEL: Mr. Nasr, are we on the verge of a new war in the Middle East between the United States and Iran? Nasr: The risk is there, largely because there's no communication between the two sides. There is a lot of room for misinterpretation. Unlike North Korea or China, Iran is a case where President Trump has taken what was a relatively stable situation and has now made it much worse and more dangerous, without either showing a way to success or a Plan B if his plans fail. There is political vulnerability for him, particularly going into an election year. But the case is also going to show exactly how weak and ineffective Europe is. There's already a tremendous amount of damage to Europe. DER SPIEGEL: Why is that? Nasr: The Europeans are showing that they are completely part of the American foreign policy establishment. In fact, in Iran, there is a view now, which has become quite prevalent, that Europe has played a sinister role by keeping … [Read more...] about Middle East Expert Vali Nasr: ‘The U.S. Has To Get a Sense of Iran’s Security Interests’
“This is the best sandwich I’ve ever had.” photographer: Jamie Ramsay, hand model: Emily Kocevar The first thing you need to know about the shawafel wrap at Middle East Bakery & Grocery is that everything in it is fresh. Its ingredients are delivered three times weekly; the constituent parts are assembled and cooked each morning. Hisham Khalifeh, who opened Middle East Bakery & Grocery in 1981, says it's the freshness and quality of ingredients that sets the food at his grocery store and cafe apart from other Mediterranean fare in Chicago. In addition to sandwiches, he sells chocolate baklava, macaroons, and an entire refrigerator rack's worth of sheep's milk cheeses. "We use high-quality ingredients, fresh chickpeas, fresh onions—and our customers know it," says Khalifeh. The cafe, an expansion on the Andersonville grocery, has been around for five years. The shawarma, both chicken or beef, does particularly well, according to Khalifeh, as do … [Read more...] about Life is full of disappointments, but the shawafel wrap at Middle East Bakery & Grocery is never one of them
The attacks on Saudi oil installations have led to speculation that armed drones were involved. Both the United States and the Saudi authorities say this may well have been the case.The offensive use of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has grown significantly in recent years, and nowhere more so than in the Middle East.So who has them and who has used them in combat? A new weaponThe first combat use of an armed drone came in October 2001, on the first night of the Afghan War against a Taliban convoy. Armed UAVs were initially the preserve of a few technologically advanced nations, with Israel and the United States very much in the lead. Soon a new provider came onto the scene - China, eager to sell its weaponry around the world. The Chinese have boosted the spread of military drones in the Middle East, selling weaponry to at least half a dozen governments. The civilian UAV market has also become more sophisticated, and the technology has been converted into combat drones. … [Read more...] about Saudi oil attacks: Who’s using drones in the Middle East?
Tesla is bringing its electric cars to the heart of the oil producing world. The automaker announced Monday that its first official venture in the Middle East will be in the United Arab Emirates. The first cars -- the Model S and Model X -- will hit the road this summer. "Timing seems to be good to really make a significant debut in this region starting in Dubai," Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk said at the World Government Summit in Dubai. Tesla owners will have access to two existing supercharging stations in the UAE, and Telsa plans to open five more by the end of the year. Despite sitting on huge oil and gas reserves, the UAE has ambitious plans to go green. Last month it said it will invest $163 billion to boost alternative energy use over the next three decades. Related: Tesla reveals what it will charge for a charge It's the latest in a series of expansion announcements for Tesla. Last week, Musk hinted that Tesla may soon come to India. Musk has also teased plans to … [Read more...] about Tesla will sell electric cars in the Middle East
Militia groups have become an increasing feature of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Often sponsored by rival outside powers, they have profound impact on local stability, internal politics, humanitarian access, and economic development, as well as on regional security and geopolitics. In Iraq, such paramilitary groups have mobilized and, in some cases, remobilized to counter the Islamic State (IS). Yet, even after territorial control was wrestled away from IS, the political and economic power of Al Hashd al-Shaabi, as the paramilitary groups are known in Arabic, has continued to grow. During the spring of 2019 tension between the United States and Iran, Iraq’s paramilitary groups became a key flashpoint. In Lebanon, Hezbollah, too, has been at the epicenter of regional rivalries and counterterrorism. And in Libya, infighting among the country’s militias has plunged the country into another phase of civil war. On June 28, the Brookings Institution hosted a panel … [Read more...] about The impact of militias on governance and geopolitics in the Middle East and North Africa