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Middle East

Iran nuclear talks fail, deadline reset

WASHINGTON, November 24, 2014 — The November 24 deadline for a nuclear accord between Iran and the West came today with the two sides still divided by numerous technical issues. They agreed to push the deadline back by seven months. Secretary of State John Kerry said that “real and substantial progress” has been made to ...

World’s oldest Quran discovered and may be linked to Imam Ali

WASHINGTON, November 19, 2014 — Researchers from the Project Coranica at the University Library in Tübingen, Germany have discovered a copy of the Quran that may be the oldest in the world, dating to within 20-40 years of the death of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. The copy of the Quran, dubbed Ma VI 165 by scientists, ...

Shia Rights Watch releases video documenting ISIS human rights abuses

WASHINGTON, November 5, 2014 — Last week, Shia Rights Watch released a 9-minute video outlining some of the atrocities perpetrated by ISIS in Iraq. In conjunction with Imam Hussain TV and Laaya Productions, several interviews were conducted with victims of the unfolding disaster in the country. Those interviewed repeated stories of rape, murder, and forced relocation from cities such ...

The U.S. returning to Saudi oil dependency clouds Middle East policy

WASHINGTON, On July 7, 2021, top Biden administration officials very quietly met with Saudi Arabia’s deputy defense minister Prince Khalid bin Salman. The prince met with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and other US officials during his visit to Washington. The meeting taking place just months after a US intelligence report linked his brother, Saudi Crown Prince ...

Making sense of the “Open Letter to Moderate Muslims”

WASHINGTON, October 10, 2014 — Under the nom de guerre “The Atheist Muslim,” an individual named Ali A. Rizvi, wrote a rambling article called An Open Letter to Moderate Muslims, where he conflated nearly every aspect of extremism with the behavior of moderate Muslims. Rizvi begins by criticizing Reza Aslan for being upset with Bill ...

Islam’s missing moderates and the problem of ISIS

WASHINGTON, October 7, 2014 – ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other Islamist terrorist organizations have core memberships measured only in the thousands. Al-Qaeda’s core is estimated at under a thousand, its total number of supporters at perhaps 100,000. ISIS is estimated at 12,000 to 15,000. Both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama felt it necessary ...

Killing al-Qaeda: The Khorasan problem

WASHINGTON, September 28, 2014 — The death of al-Qaeda, whose decimation was announced by President Obama 32 times in 2012 alone, is generally recognized now to have been greatly exaggerated. It made that clear on Saturday when it launched rockets at the U.S. embassy in Yemen. The sudden appearance of a brand-new al-Qaeda affiliate, Khorasan, ...

Obama phones it in with timid, risky ISIS plan

WASHINGTON, September 12, 2014 — President Obama’s comprehensive plan to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State is reminiscent of a research paper assigned months ago and written the night before it was due. It was appropriately delivered in a speech that had a phoned-in quality. The most surprising thing about the plan is that it ...