A nail-biting Iranian-Syrian World Cup qualifier has sent political ripples far beyond the Azadi Stadium’s soccer pitch in Tehran. In a boost for the regime of President Syrian Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian squad’s 2-2 draw was enough for the Syrian team to maintain hopes of Syria reaching the World Cup finals for the first time in its history. 

Despite the opposition of the central government in Baghdad, Kurdish political parties agreed to hold a referendum in the region on September 25th, 2017. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said that the referendum includes disputed areas, such as oil-rich province of Kirkuk, which is claimed by the Kurds and Baghdad.

In the three-month old Gulf crisis, nothing is too expensive or too down and dirty when it comes to buying influence, garnering soft power, and trying to win hearts and minds.

Benjamin Netanyahu needs to publicly and officially establish Israel's policies on state-sanctioned discrimination or he will not only destroy his own legacy, but he will drag Israel into the abyss with him.

A three-month old crisis in the Gulf that has pitted Qatar against an alliance led by the UAE and Saudi Arabia has settled into a family squabble in which the protagonists appear to be singing different variations of the same song.

The hacked email account of Yousef al-Otaiba, the influential United Arab Emirates ambassador in Washington, has provided unprecedented insight into the length to which the small Gulf state is willing to go in the pursuit of its regional ambitions.

Interview with Dr. Matthew Crosston about the situation in Yemen, conducted by journalist Mohammad Homaeefar for the Tehran Times in Iran. August 2017

Recent moves by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates suggest that the two Gulf states may be looking for ways to reduce tensions with Iran that permeate multiple conflicts wracking the Middle East and North Africa.

A two-month old crisis pitting Qatar against an alliance led by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia is proving to be a double-edged sword.

Feuding Gulf states that have pumped millions of dollars into public diplomacy appear to have done better in damaging the reputations of their detractors than in polishing their own tarnished images.

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