Gulf in the News – January 29, 2014

Qaradawi calls on Saudi to stop backing Egypt’s army regime

Source: The Peninsula (Read full story)

The prominent Qatari-based scholar Yousuf Al Qaradawi called on Saudi Arabia to stop backing Egypt’s military-dominated authorities, accusing them of using Saudi money to kill Egyptians protesting at the overthrow in July of an elected Islamist president.  Most US-aligned Gulf Arab monarchies, rattled by the rise of Islamists in the Middle East, were relieved when the Egyptian military stepped in to topple president Mohamed Mursi after mass protests against his rule. But Yousuf Al Qaradawi said the strong backing that Saudi Arabia had provided military-backed Egyptian authorities which had crushed Islamist opposition since Mursi’s removal was wrong and should be withdrawn.

Understanding the Iran-West detente

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

…most, if not all conflicts in the world are a result of a race to gain control of the natural resources. There is an economic aspect of most, if not all, political conflicts. In this context, it would be easier to understand the changing position of Iran in the world. From an outlaw state that was about to be attacked last year to the most welcomed country at Davos, Iran has obviously something to offer to the world. Isn’t it interesting that all of a sudden American companies are all set to land in Tehran? Pure economics is at work.  … The Americans and Israelis are no longer the Great Satan. The entire world appears to have forgotten Ahmadinejad’s threats to annihilate Israel. The reason behind this change of heart is Iran’s vast natural resources that to this day remain largely untapped.

United Nations fails to break Syria talks deadlock

Source: Khaleej Times (Read full story)

The UN failed to break a deadlock at Syrian peace talks in Geneva on Tuesday, with negotiations interrupted after President Bashar Al Assad’s regime pushed for a statement condemning the United States.  After announcing the start of a fourth day of talks with a morning session around 11am (1000 GMT), the UN said in a terse statement later that “no meeting has been planned for this afternoon”.  A member of the opposition negotiating team, Rima Fleihan, said that UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi had adjourned the meeting “because the regime is not cooperating on any subject, not on humanitarian issues and not on a transitional governing body.”  

Dubai Ruler inaugurates first phase of Mohammed bin Rashid City mega-project

Source: The National (Read full story)

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai has inaugurated District One of the Dh30 billion Mohammed bin Rashid City.  … The city will feature 600 hectares of open and green space of city parkland, waterways, woodlands, water park and the largest crystal lagoon body of water in the world with 7km of stunning lagoons and 14km man-made beaches. The City is scheduled to be completed in 2018-2019.  Mr Al Tayer said this unique green heart for Dubai will be surrounded by 1,500 premium luxury villas — which will be delivered in four phases ahead of Expo 2020.

​UN nuclear inspectors in Iran to visit uranium mine

Source: The Peninsula (Read full story)

UN nuclear inspectors arrived in Iran yesterday to visit a uranium mine, Iranian media reported, as part of a cooperation pact meant to help allay international concern about the country’s nuclear programme.  Today’s planned inspection of the Gchine mine in southern Iran will be the first by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at this site since 2005. Allowing the UN nuclear agency — which is investigating allegations that Iran has carried out atomic bomb research — to go to Gchine was among six concrete steps Iran agreed to under the November 11 agreement with the IAEA.

New MERS death raises Saudi toll to 59

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

Saudi health authorities announced Wednesday a new MERS death, bringing to 59 the number of people who have died from the coronavirus in the country with the most fatalities.  The Saudi national, aged 60, died in hospital in the Riyadh region, said the health ministry on its website, adding that he had suffered from chronic disease.