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TODAY’S DAILY BRIEFING
28-Apr-2017
Egypt
Politics
“Ayman Nour to Quds Arabi: Morsi’s legitimacy should not be condition for any future opposition alliance”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom)
Democracy and Party Politics
On April 28, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following interview with Egyptian opposition symbol abroad Ayman Nour, by its correspondent in Cairo Tamer Hindawi… (Read More)
Iran
Opinion
"Ra'isi in confrontation with Ra'isi"  (Shargh, Iran)
Democracy and Party Politics
On April 22, an editorial by Ahmad Gholami in the reformist Shargh said: "Rather than being in a confrontation with other presidential candidates, Ebrahim Ra'isi is in a confrontation with himself. Before obtaining such a post, he must determine where he stands in relation to himself. A man who has always held judicial positions and has had no need to account to anyone other than his superior, must now sit in a position of accounting to everyone, should he win. Maybe it is for this reason that Ra'isi behaves in a way as if he has not come forward to obtain the presidential seat, and is striving more to undertake a responsibility that has been delegated to him. He is endeavouring more than anything else to protect his character. This point makes it clear that by laying himself bare to the public vote, Ra'isi is doing a dangerous thing, and it is unlikely that he will be prepared to do absolutely anything to obtain this post, as [Mohammadreza] Qalibaf will do. The latter resembles Mohsen Reza'i in this respect; in the sense that Reza'i also pursues service to the public solely though the course of obtaining high ranking executive posts. A simple comparison will reveal the obvious dissimilarity between Qalibaf and Ra'isi, which demonstrates the serious differences of opinion among the principlists in this respect. Through his awareness of Ra'isi's trait and by counting on this trait, Qalibaf is interested in remaining on the scene so that once the election campaigns begin, he can prove in practice that he is more effective than other principlist candidates… (Read More)
Shari'atmadari: "These rival wives are more sympathetic!"  (Keyhan, Iran)   
Democracy and Party Politics
On April 15, an editorial by Hossein Shari'atmadari in the conservative Keyhan said: "Yesterday the president, after applying for the 12th round of presidential elections pointed, once again and for the nth time, to some sample achievements of his four-year presidency. And he cited successes that, asking for his forgiveness, I must say that not only almost none of them has any reality to it. But also all the existing evidence points to the opposite conclusion. And it is surprising that Dr. Ruhani presents the "failures" of his government as "achievements!" In this brief, we will make a passing -- and of course, documentary and indisputable -- reference to several examples of that and leave the judgment to the readers… (Read More)
"Human Rights Bullying"  (Hemayat, Iran)
Human Rights - USA EU
On April 16, a commentary by Mansur Haqiqatpur in the conservative daily Hemayat said: "The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a legal and international document in the field of nuclear science and technology in the 21st century which includes four axis: nuclear, sanctions, an executive map, and a dispute settlement mechanism. Therefore, in exchange for certain responsibilities and restrictions of the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear activities, the JCPOA has provided rights and benefits in the areas of nuclear, economic, financial, monetary, and insurance. Iran's nuclear agreement with the P5+1 since the signing, was objected to and breached by the opposing side. America's 10-year congressional action on extending the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) is only one of several measures that had been unlawful and contrary to the American commitment. Before the start of JCPOA implementation, verification of Tehran's actions was conducted on a regular basis and the reports of Yukiya Amano, Secretary General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, always confirmed the accuracy of the performance and behaviour of Iran's nuclear programme within the framework of joint action. With the accuracy of our country's performance, the other party has repeatedly tried bullying to avoid their obligations or slow Iran's benefit from JCPOA to dribbles… (Read More)
"America's Interests in the existance of terrorism"  (Jomhuri-ye Eslami, Iran)   
Military and Defense - USA EU
On April 16, a commentary in the conservative Jomhuri-ye Eslami said: "Apparently the brutalities of America are never-ending and limitless. Trump's America dropped a 10 ton "JTU-430" bomb, the worlds' most powerful non-nuclear bomb, over the Afghan people, but he claimed that it was dropped over IS terrorists. In the US military vocabulary the bomb is called "the mother of all bombs," and it was used as the second invasion of Trump's America within the short period of time he has been in the White House. Thus, Trump, within a short period of time, has violated the sovereignty of Syria and Afghanistan by attacking the two countries. Officials, members of the cabinet, and the National Assembly of Afghanistan have condemned this action by Washington and have said that Afghanistan is not America's laboratory of weapons. Under the pretext of the fight against terrorism, America has on the one hand violated the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Afghanistan in a large-scale, and on the other, America is busy testing new weapons, claiming to destroy the IS. Under the guise of fighting terrorism, America has repeatedly committed war crimes in Syria against the front line troops fighting terrorism, and it has inflicted the largest number of casualties on the forces fighting terrorism. Now we have to wait for the results to be produced of investigations into casualties of civilians by America's use of a 10 ton bomb. However, it is not clear what will ultimately be announced, the truth and the whole truth. The facts should not include America's usual lies and false claims… (Read More)
Iraq
Politics
“Signs of Iraqi electoral alliance bringing together diverging sides”  (Newspaper, Middle East)   
Democracy and Party Politics
On April 26, the Qatari-owned UK-based Al-Araby al-Jadeed newspaper carried the following report from Baghdad by its correspondent Aktham Saif Eddin: “The electoral actions and preparations in Iraq were able to achieve what the political dialogues between the blocs failed to accomplish for many years, as these actions brought together opposites that had no ties or anything in common. Hence, the Sadrist Movement (Islamic) is approaching the Communist Party (secular) and the Kurds, in order to form a new electoral bloc. At this level, the Sadrist Movement said that its “Leader Muqtada as-Sadr met with Iraqi Communist Party Secretary General Mufeed al-Jazairi and the delegation accompanying him at his office in Najaf Governorate,” adding: “The two sides discussed various issues, namely corruption and the spread and widening of sectarianism… (Read More)
Lebanon
Opinion
“A sensitive phase for Hezbollah”  (Newspaper, Middle East)
USA EU
On April 28, Toni Issa wrote the following piece in the Al-Joumhouria daily newspaper: “More and more, the elements of the confrontation where Hezbollah will be forced to engage in the following phase are coming together. While all the internal forces are limited to their battles on the 10,452 square kilometers [Lebanon’s area], the Party is bracing for a harsh confrontation, the basis of which is in Syria. Based on the outcomes of the confrontation there, the Party shall decide on its steps in Lebanon… (Read More)
Politics
“The battle of the spring is coming and the army commander is at the front”  (Ad-Diyyar, Lebanon)
Military and Defense
On April 28, the Ad-Diyyar daily newspaper carried the following report: “Away from politics and the politicians, the Army Commander, Gen. Joseph Aoun, is devoting his time to the existential, major issues…based on two main constants… (Read More)
“Israeli assault on Syria, a “hot message” to Lebanon”  (Ad-Diyyar, Lebanon)
Military and Defense - Unrest - USA EU
On April 28, the Ad-Diyyar daily carried the following report by Hiyam Eid: “Well-informed political circles commented on Israel’s leaping beyond all the red lines in Syria. They expressed their concern regarding the airstrikes that targeted bases at the Damascus airport and the fact that no statements of condemnation or opposing positions were issued by the countries concerned with the Syrian file mainly the USA ad Russia. The sources said that this development indicates that Washington and Moscow have started to sketch the future geopolitical maps of the region starting with Syria, specifically “the new Syria… (Read More)
“This is how Trump is leading Iran back to the American “House of Obedience””  (Al-Mustaqbal, Lebanon)
USA EU
On April 28, the mouthpiece of the Future Movement, Al-Mustaqbal newspaper, carried the following report by Thuraya Shahin: “According to Western diplomatic sources, the bill to increase the US sanctions on Hezbollah at the US Congress is a prelude for the exertion of pressures over a regional file, i.e. the Iranian one. Indeed, President Donald Trump’s administration is currently in the process of drawing up its strategy towards the region, and consequently Lebanon, and one of its main points is to fill the vacuum created by the previous administration, which was operating through intelligence bodies and allies after the adoption of a non-intervention policy following the US withdrawal from Iraq. But to this administration, the previous one weakened the friends’ and enemies’ perception of the United States, which is why President Trump now wishes to reinstate his country’s status in the region and the world by… (Read More)
Syria
Opinion
“An Israeli assault following the American one…”  (Website, Middle East)   
Arab Diplomacy - Military and Defense - USA EU
On April 27, the electronic Rai al-Youm daily carried the following piece by Abdul Bari Atwan: “On the dawn of Thursday, the Israeli occupation state bombarded a storehouse near the Damascus international airport with several rockets. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is based in Britain, said that the storehouse included weapons belonging to the Lebanese Hezbollah. This bombardment that set off from a base near the Golan Heights and came some days following the American Tomahawk raid that targeted the Syrian Al-Shayrat airbase at the governorate of Homs and a month following an Israeli raid on Syrian military targets near the city of Palmyra… (Read More)
Politics
“The road between Al-Jazira and Damascus: Iranian dreams under execution”  (Website, Middle East)   
Military and Defense
On April 27, the Al-Modon electronic daily carried the following report: “Tension is on the rise in the Syrian Al-Jazira as this province has turned into a point of regional and international conflict, which was clearly highlighted on Tuesday at dawn through the Turkish raids that targeted military points belonging to the Kurdish Democratic Union party in the southern part of the city of Al-Malikiyah in Al-Hasakah… Although the Democratic Union enjoys an American protection, it also enjoys excellent relations with Iran and the regime as highlighted through the opening of a new road connecting Iran to Lebanon via some regions of the Syrian Al-Jazira… (Read More)
“What is happening between Levant Liberation [Committee] and Ahrar ash-Sham?”  (Website, Middle East)   
Military and Defense
On April 28, the Lebanese privately-owned En-Nashra news website carried the following exclusive report by Maher al-Khatib: “Lately, coordination had completely stopped between the Levant Liberation Committee and Ahrar ash-Sham Movement, against the backdrop of the disputes that erupted between them following the announcement of the Committee’s creation, and the Movement’s refusal to join it for many reasons… Consequently, this had major repercussions on the battles in which they were engaged, especially in Rif Hama, where the Syrian opposition factions lost important positions. But in the last few days, a noticeable development led the situation back to square one, in light of talk surrounding the possible formation of a joint operations room between the two groups, after they both signed - under the name of Army of Conquest, the entity which previously included both of them - an agreement with the Iranian side over the towns of Fu’ah, Kafriya, Zabadani and Madaya… (Read More)
“In a desperate attempt to lift collapsing terrorist organizations’ morale, Israeli attack on military position…”  (SANA, Syria)
Military and Defense
On April 27, the official Syrian SANA News Agency carried the following report from Damascus: “A military source revealed that a military position southwest of the Damascus International Airport was the object of an Israeli attack, which led to some material losses. In statements to SANA, the source said: “Today at dawn, a military position southwest of the Damascus International Airport was the object of an Israeli attack using several missiles launched from inside the occupied territories. This provoked explosions in the area and resulted in some material losses.” The source continued: “This attack was a desperate attempt to lift the morale of the terrorist groups, which are crumbling under our armed forces’ strikes. And it will not keep us from proceeding with our war on terrorism in order to crush it… (Read More)
Yemen
Politics
“Saudi Arabia ‘swallows Emirati blade” in Hadhramaut: until when?”  (Al-Akhbar Lebanon, Lebanon)   
Arab Diplomacy
On April 28, the Al-Akhbar daily newspaper carried the following report: “Saudi Arabia is not reassured in respect to the Emirati moves at the governorate of Hadhramaut. For the time being, Al-Riyadh seems to be forced to “swallow the blade.” However, the requirements of this situation may not last for long in light of the political conflict taking place in this eastern province, which is the largest in Yemen… (Read More)
“Yemen: Hadi toppled Aden governor and ministers loyal to UAE after bitter conflict”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom)   
Military and Defense
On April 28, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report by its correspondent in Ta’iz Khaled Hammadi: “Yesterday on Thursday, Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi dismissed all the political leaders that had secessionist tendencies and were affiliated with the United Arab Emirates after a bitter conflict with them, namely Aden Governor Aidarus az-Zoubaidi and many ministers. And he ordered the launching of investigations into some of them on charges linked to national security. At this level, political sources mentioned to Al-Quds al-Arabi: “Hadi engaged in confrontation with government officials affiliated with the UAE, after they went too far in undermining the security and political climate in the southern governorates that are under the government’s control, in a way which affected the government’s performance and President Hadi’s authority… (Read More)
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