Iranian declarations calling for Israel’s destruction are being voiced by a broad spectrum of the Iranian leadership, including different senior officers in the Revolutionary Guard. Just this week (May 20, 2012), Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi stated: “The Iranian nation is standing for its cause that is the full annihilation of Israel.” These spokesmen are not talking about a long historical process regarding Israel’s elimination, but rather a development that is to take place in the near term. These calls for the destruction of Israel for the most part are not made in the context of an Iranian retaliatory strike, and are not contingent upon what actions Israel will take.Thus the problem is not just President Ahmadinejad, who will be out of office when his term ends in 2013, but rather with the entire present-day Iranian leadership. In this study, Prof. Joshua Teitelbaum and IDF LTC (ret.) Michael Segall detail Iranian statements on the destruction of Israel from the last few years.
The Arab awakenings and assertive international role of Russia and China at the expense of the United States have created a new strategic situation for the rulers of Riyadh. Seen from Saudi Arabia, the US stood idly by at the ignominious toppling of its erstwhile allies, the dictators of Tunisia and Egypt. Its rival across the Gulf, Iran, is on its way to having a nuclear weapon and has attempted to assassinate its ambassador to Washington.
While the world was busy nit-picking the translation of those words, particularly Israel’s “good friend” Jonathan Steele of The Guardian, arguing Iran’s leader was just referring to a regime change of the evil expansionist Zionists now in power in Jerusalem, not physical annihilation of a sovereign state, Joshua Teitelbaum pointed out in his important rebuttal of these foolish semantics that Michael Axworthy, Britain’s consular officer in Tehran, testified that slogans draped over missiles in Iran’s military parades stated: “Israel must be wiped off the map.”
On Tuesday afternoon 6th of march a few female students were gathered in the females' campus at the King Khaled University (KKU) in Abha, Criticizing the deterioration of basic Facilities on campus like proper class rooms, Benches, tables, waste management; when they were verbally assaulted by the Female security guards calling them "Filthy Animals"& "Barking Dogs". The girls responded to that by throwing empty water bottles & soda cans which was stacked all over the hallways.
In a symbolic gesture of defiance, militia and tribal chiefs from eastern Libya gathered here on Tuesday to demand a return to the loose federation that prevailed before Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi took power four decades ago.
And now another tribal chink in the armor of the Syrian state.
London, Asharq Al-Awsat – Sheikh Nawaf al-Bashir, head of the prominent Baqara tribe in Syria, revealed that the Syrian authorities forced him to conduct an interview with a Syrian satellite television channel “with a gun to his head”, before releasing him 20 days later. The Baqara tribe is one of the largest tribes in Syria, and estimates indicate that the tribe’s membership stands at 1.2 million Syrian nationals.
In light of my piece last week on the failing of the Arab core states, check out this report on rumblings of a tribal rebellion in the Sinai. Stay tuned!
The democratic promise of the poorly named “Arab Spring” is now widely recognized to be a disappointment. Viewed from early 2012, democratic “transitions” seem a pipe dream. Instead of democracy we are witnessing a re-emergence of pre-state loyalty frameworks that call into question the viability of the modern state in today’s Middle East. With the notable exception of the oil monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council, where the state can still provide for its citizens, the phenomenon we see today is not democratization, but rather a process of state failure.
The smooth succession of royals is crucial to the stability of the Saudi oil state. Ever since King Faysal, the Saudi monarchy has alternated branches of the family on the throne in order to maintain a degree of balance between competing royal family factions. This principle is likely to hold true today too, as the kingdom navigates its way from the rule of King Abdullah and the now-deceased Crown Prince Sultan to the rule of Crown Prince and next king, Nayif. The process of balancing and satisfying royal factions depends on patience and conservatism within royal circles. It also requires quiet in the streets of Riyadh and Jedda – and thus far, there are no signs of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ spreading to Saudi Arabia.
On December 16, the Saudi city of Medina witnessed severe clashes between Sunnis and Shiites. The clashes occurred at the time of the annual Ashura gathering, when Shiites commemorate the martyrdom of Husayn, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. Although the local press referred only to anonymous mobs, it was clear from international reporting and Saudi Shiite websites that this was a sectarian riot.