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WHAT WE DO
While there are now more than 500 Arabic and Persian language news outlets reporting stories from and about the Middle East, there is currently no affordable means for English speakers to gain access to much of this content. As a result, the overwhelming majority of English speaking businesspersons, students, journalists and others who have an interest in the affairs of the region are largely unaware of what the Middle East media is covering and how they are covering these stories.

Mideastwire.com aims to close this gap by offering a daily email newsletter of concise, translated briefs covering some of the key political, cultural, economic and opinion pieces appearing in the media of the 22 Arab countries, Iran and the Arab Diaspora. Through this effort, we hope to address at least one element of a global disconnect that continues to threaten a wide spectrum of socio-political and economic relationships, both here in the region and beyond.
TODAY’S DAILY BRIEFING
01-Dec-2016
Iran
Opinion
"Trump and Middle East" - author predicts "the Syrian crisis will end in 2017"  (Newspaper, Middle East)   
Military and Defense - Peace Process - USA EU
On November 15, a commentary by Hassan Hanizadeh in the reformist daily Arman-e Emruz said: "The Middle East Crisis and the spread of terrorism, and also the increase in the regional tensions which are the consequences of Barak Obama's opaque policies, form some of the new president of the United States, Donald Trump's worries. Basically, Trump has been criticising Obama strongly for siding with the terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq since 2013 and before entering the arena of election campaigning.Obama's cooperation with the destructive policies of Saudi Arabia and Turkey against Syria and Iraq has had heavy political and reputational costs for the United States. Trump believes that terrorism has spread due to illogical policies of Obama and his insistence on overthrowing Bashar Assad, and that these policies will threaten the security of the United States in the future. Trump's focus on the subject of terrorism and the necessity to crush terrorist groups was one of the most important and prominent headlines of his election campaign, which caught the attention of the American elite on both the Republican and the Democrats sides. Although Trump himself has little experience of political arenas, his team, especially vice president Pence seem to be able to provide him with sound advice on such issues.Although on the subject of the Middle East crises both side, the Republicans and the Democrats, are of the same opinion as regards guaranteeing a sustainable security for the Zionist regime, the outcome of political analyses, however, indicate that the new occupant of the White House will be paying special attention to the Middle East. But despite this optimism the question that has occupied the minds of the regional analysts is on the basis of what mechanism and method will Donald Trump use to control the Middle East crisis… (Read More)
"Will Russia and the United States Make a Deal Over Iran?"  (Shargh, Iran)   
USA EU
On November 16, an article by Arezu Farshid in the reformist Shargh said: "Ms. Valentina Matviyenko, chairman of the Federation Council of Russia, had on her agenda holding talks with Iran about increasing cooperation, including nuclear collaboration. She stayed in Tehran for two days and met with the officials of our country. The trip was made even as some media and analysts believed that the relationship between Russia, the United States, and Iran would change after the victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential elections. The idea comes from the pre-election remarks that Trump made about Russia and the reactions of Russian officials to the remarks. It has not been long since the US election debates were held. Everybody remembers that Trump and Russia were so willing that some accuse the Russians of interfering in the US elections, and said that they had a hand in hacking Hillary Clinton's emails. Although Russian officials rejected the allegations, and according to Putin, it was "hysteric," some Russian analysts believed that it was not impossible. For example, Sergey Markov, a political analyst for the Kremlin, told The Guardian on 9 November : "Maybe we helped a bit with WikiLeaks, but we do not believe in Russian interference in the US elections." Moreover, it is not forgotten that during the presidential debates, Trump said about Russia: "We should not necessarily be each other's enemies. We should seek common ground based on shared interests. Russia, for instance, has also seen the horror of Islamic terrorism. I believe that easing tensions and improving relations with Russia can only be done from a position of strength. Common sense says this cycle of hostility must end. Some say the Russians will not be reasonable. I intend to find out." He also described Vladimir Putin a powerful and brilliant leader and stated that he would support the Russian air raids against the opposition in Syria. Laying stress on the common threats against the two countries and their interests, such as fighting terrorism and controlling immigration, he said that he sought a peaceful relationship with Russia. When the results of the election were announced, he spoke about US-Russian relations. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he announced that he had received a "fantastic" letter from Putin and that he would have a phone conversation with him soon. Without a doubt, the Syrian crisis is the first topic the two presidents will discuss . Trump also said that the stance of the United States on Syria might possibly change, and that the United States and Russia are going to have a more serious relationship. He said: "I have the opposite view of many people regarding Syria; Syria is fighting DA'ISH [or DAESH, Arabic acronym for the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] and we want to get rid of DA'ISH...We have Iran, which has become powerful because of us and is aligned with Syria. Now we are backing rebels in Syria, and we have no idea who those people are! If the United States attacks (the establishment of) al-Asad, we will end up fighting Russia."… (Read More)
"Peace Out of Resistance or Surrender?" - On Saudi Arabia  (Keyhan, Iran)   
Arab Diplomacy
On November 23, an article by Saadollah Zarei in the conservative Keyhan daily said: "It is hard to believe the ones that live in Iranian society, especially scholars, are not able to understand the facts, which even the enemies of the Islamic Republic confess, and instead, make unreal comments about the Islamic Revolution and the establishment. Much have been published in Western and non-Western press and media on Iran's strategic capability in West Asia and accepting that Iran is capable in this regard. Especially, after Iran succeeded to defeat terrorist-Takfiri, its competence and capability was highlighted in the region. All enemies say the fact that if it was not for the bravery and wisdom of Iran, Takfiri terrorists would have overpowered even the Arab countries that have always supported them - such as Saudi Arabia. These days, this issue is confessed officially in the US popular discussion programmes. They admitted the deterrent role of Lebanon's Hizballah in the recent terrorist happenings and the effective function of any other group related to Iran. Today, at Iraq's parliament, various Shi'i, Sunni and Kurd groups are making a historic agreement to keep "Popular Mobilisation Forces". It means that although before the crisis of Iraq, during the last two years, Shia had not been considered an official tribe, after Iran and Iraqi tribes succeeded to defeat DA'ISH they discuss the permanent recognition of a group that the US and Saudi propaganda introduce as the "permanent solution" for overcoming crises and problems… (Read More)
Jordan
Politics
“Jordan: Corruption accusations escalate, reach former chief of staff…”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom)   
Corruption - Military and Defense
On December 1, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report from London: “A specialized governmental committee issued a memo to the media in Jordan preventing the publication of any news related to the armed forces, after the emergence of corruption accusations involving the former chief of staff. Indeed, Deputy in Parliament Tamer Bino revealed the existence of suspicions of corruption revolving around the former chief of staff. During a speech last week, the member of the Reform Bloc, which is allied with the Muslim Brotherhood, had pointed to the distribution of 56 cars registered in the Treasury’s name, as free gifts to people close to or affiliated with the former chief of staff. This information had also been shared by local news sites, including Ammon, which is close to the authorities… (Read More)
Kuwait
Politics
“The Kuwait elections in form and content”  (An-Nahar, Lebanon)
Democracy and Party Politics
On December 1, the An-Nahar daily newspaper carried the following piece by Rajeh al-Khoury: “There’s a large difference between the form and the contents when it comes to the parliamentary elections that took place in Kuwait last Saturday. The form calls for admiration but the contents call for concern, which must prompt the Kuwaitis to return to the voting ballots and conduct new elections perhaps because a number of the new nation council’s members are not considering the dimensions that called for conducting early elections. These dimensions include the increasing external challenges both politically and on the security levels in addition to the internal economic challenges and the defect at the level of the parliament’s work… (Read More)
“Kuwait: Opposition braces to topple Parliament speaker”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom)   
Democracy and Party Politics - Unrest
On December 1, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report by its correspondent in Kuwait Muna ash-Shamri: “After Prince of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad as-Sabah issued an Amiri Order yesterday, by which he appointed Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak al-Hamad as-Sabah as Cabinet chief and assigned him to name the members of the new Cabinet, the Kuwaiti street started anticipating the government formation that will face the challenges of the National Assembly with its opposition majority. At this level, knowledgeable sources assured Al-Quds al-Arabi that from the moment they won their seats in the Assembly, the new deputies started coordinating with each other to engage in the speakership battle and determine who will assume the second highest position in the state… (Read More)
Lebanon
Politics
On the situation in Ain el-Helweh  (As-Safir, Lebanon)
Military and Defense - Refugees
On December 1, the independent, leftist As-Safir daily newspaper carried the following report by Imad Marmal: “…What about the situation at the Ain el-Helweh camp following the chaos that was stirred around the “separation wall” that the army was building on the camp’s outskirts as per the Palestinian factions’ term, or the “protection wall” as per the military institution’s term?… (Read More)
Middle East
Opinion
“The Israeli raid that destroyed Hezbollah’s arms convoy near the Damascus Airport: Why now…?”  (Website, Middle East)   
Military and Defense
On November 30, the electronic Rai al-Youm daily newspaper carried the following editorial: “…The official Syrian news agency confirmed that an Israeli raid targeted military storage spaces to the west of the capital, Damascus, without making any human casualties. The Israeli side is keeping silent while the Israeli media, which usually allows its experts and military analysts to discuss these issues, was quite stingy when discussing this raid, which seems to fall outside the realm of the present Syrian crisis and which could be due to the firm military censorship on these matters… (Read More)
“Towards the MB Empire in our region”  (Website, Middle East)   
Religion
On November 30, the electronic Rai al-Youm daily newspaper carried the following piece by Kamal Khalaf: “At one point in the past lean years that our region saw, it seemed to us that the project of the Muslim Brothers – that exploited the popular uprisings and armed chaos in the Arab countries – has suffered a painful blow following the ousting of President Mohammad Morsi's regime, the regression of the En-Nahda movement in Tunisia, the persistence of President Al-Assad in Syria, and the conclusion of the national council era, the gateway to the MB’s rule in Libya… But did the entire MB project come to an end or is it still resisting to stand up again and achieve gains despite all the circumstances?… (Read More)
Morocco
Politics
“Meeting between Benkirane, Akhannouch, failed to solve the problem of the Moroccan cabinet formation”  (Asharq al-Awsat, United Kingdom)
Democracy and Party Politics
On December 1, the Saudi-owned, London-based Asharq al-Awsat daily newspaper carried the following report: “The meeting between Abdelilah Benkirane, the Secretary General of the Justice and Development party and the Head of Government of Morocco, with Aziz Akhannouch, the Secretary General of the National Rally of Independents, two days ago failed to yield a decisive position regarding the formation of the Moroccan cabinet. Neither one of the two parties issued a statement about the meeting, which seems to have failed in drawing the positions of the two political leaders closer to one another although the meeting went on for one hour and a half at Benkirane’s house… (Read More)
Palestine
Opinion
“On President Abbas’ “historical” speech…”  (Website, Middle East)
Arab Diplomacy - Peace Process
On November 30, the electronic Rai al-Youm daily newspaper carried the following piece by Abdul Bari Atwan: “We waited for the speech of President Mahmoud Abbas for two days with the hope that there will be something new there on which we could write something mainly the promise he made some days ago where he indicated he will be revealing the name of whoever poisoned the late president Yasser Arafat. However, the speech that was delayed for a day and took around two hours to be made failed to tackle this issue. This is not a strange thing for the Palestinian president… (Read More)
Syria
Politics
“Accusations against Syrian regime, Iran, of targeting scientific competencies”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom)
On December 1, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report by its correspondent in Gaziantep Mustafa Muhammad: “Mystery continues to surround the murder of Nuclear Law Professor Mustafa Ayan in Al-Hamdaniyeh, a neighborhood of Aleppo that is controlled by the regime, as the regime’s media outlets settled for saying he had died as a result of shells launched by the “armed groups” at his car while he was still in it, which led to the charring of his body. The regime’s tale coincided with that of the Syrian Network for Human Rights, which also confirmed the opposition’s responsibility for the shells that claimed Ayan’s life, though this tale did not convince many, including financial controller Ahmad Hajj Bakour, who believed that the incident was an “assassination operation arranged by the regime… (Read More)
Turkey
Politics
“What’s after Aleppo? Syrian, Turkish armies face to face”  (Ad-Diyyar, Lebanon)
Military and Defense
On December 1, the Ad-Diyyar daily newspaper carried the following report by Nour Nehmeh: “The Syrian army is proceeding with the settlement of the Aleppo battle by enhancing its control on the neighborhoods of East Aleppo and benefiting from the specific time window for the power transfer from Obama to Trump. The military escalation in Aleppo by the Syrian army and its allies in the face of the opposition factions imposed, for the first time, the equation of the victor and the defeated… As for the main question that can be raised at this point: What battles will be fought after Aleppo…and will the Syrian and Turkish army clash directly in Al-Bab?… (Read More)
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