Articles on Middle East

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Collective prayer on October 20 in Mogadishu in tribute to the 276 dead and 300 wounded, victims of the October 14 terrorist attack. Terrorism has become a global weapon. Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP

Terrorism, radicalisation and Islam: Michel Wieviorka in conversation with Marc Sageman

Contemporary terrorism is rooted in a form of political violence dating from the French Revolution. It is rooted in social facts and is now evolving on a global scale.
Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (centre) is at the centre of the changes in the Saudi royal family’s approach to governing. Stringer/Reuters

Princes, power and purges: the Saudi royal family consolidates its rule

The latest arrests of princes, ministers and military officials in Saudi Arabia might be in the name of anti-corruption but it also serves to bolster the Saudi royal family's power.
The daily newspaper ‘Arman’ bore a picture of US President Donald Trump with a headline which reads “Isolation of Mr. Goof”, on October 14, 2017. AFP

Donald Trump, a new advocate for Iranian nationalism and Islamist hardliners

The Trump administration's change of US policy toward Iran has reinforced hardliners' ambitions and nationalistic feelings, complicating an already difficult situation in the region.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Oct. 5, 2017. AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

Why is Saudi Arabia suddenly so paranoid?

When it comes to foreign policy, Saudi Arabia has recently become far more aggressive. A historian of the modern Middle East sees three possible causes for the shift.
Donald Trump’s justification for decertifying the Iran nuclear deal stems from his view that Iran is violating the deal’s spirit. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Why Trump’s decertification of the Iran nuclear deal may prove a costly mistake

Aside from vague threats of violence and suggestions he could 'renegotiate' the Iran nuclear agreement, Donald Trump has provided little in the way of coherent or viable policy options.
A relief at the ancient Persian city of Persepolis (now in modern Iran), including inscriptions in cuneiform, the world’s oldest form of writing. Diego Delso/Wikimedia

Friday essay: the recovery of cuneiform, the world’s oldest known writing

Cuneiform was used for over 3,000 years in the Ancient Near East, but was only decoded in the 19th century. The writing form is still revealing amazing stories, from literature to mathematics.

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