Salman Rafi Sheikh
Trump Must Tackle the SCO over Iran
Unlike in the West, where the US and Europe are not yet on the same page vis-à-vis Iran despite the ‘evidence’ the US has presented claiming Iran is masterminding oil-attacks in the Gulf, countries in the East, especially those of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), have sent a clear message to the US expressing opposition […]
Is the US on a Major About-turn on Iran?
In May 2018, more than a year ago, when the US threw the hard-negotiated nuclear deal with Iran out of the window of the Oval office, it did not come as a surprise, for Donald Trump was only fulfilling the promise he had made to his voters during his presidential election campaign the year before. […]
The Geo-Port-Politics of Gwadar and Chabahar
In a highly surprising move, Iran’s foreign minister, on an unscheduled and unannounced visit to Pakistan on Thursday (May the 23rd), announced the proposal to link Pakistan’s port of Gwadar with Iran’s Chabahar port. This announcement signals tectonic geo-political shift taking place in the region in the wake of increasing tensions between the US and […]
The US Indo-Pacific Strategy: Demonization, Militarization and Weaponization
While it is not unusual to see various US administrations rationalising their defence strategies on the basis of their competition with their global competitors i.e., Russia and China, the recent emphasis on labelling the competitor countries as ‘revisionist’ and ‘reactionary’ is particularly telling, especially when taken against the backdrop of an increasing Russian and Chinese […]
The US Faces a Divided Middle East on its Iran Policy
Tensions have been rising between the US and Iran after the former introduced ‘toughest sanctions’ on Iran a few months ago to cripple the latter’s economy. In past few weeks, tensions have increased in the wake of some incidents in the Persian gulf where some oil tankers were ‘attacked’, leading the US and its allies […]
With an Eye on Regime Change in Iran, the US Escalates Tensions
On last Wednesday, the US slammed fresh sanctions on Iran’s mining industry to apparently push Iran’s economy into an even deeper recession, hoping for this situation to erupt into a large-scale labour discontentment, which might become, as many in Washington hope, a pivotal point leading to an overthrow of the Iranian regime. For example, one […]
Are the US and Russia Really Headed Towards a Re-set of Relations?
Some recent developments in US—Russia relations indicate that the end of Mueller inquiry and its undisputed conclusion that there was no Russian interference in the US presidential election whatsoever has led to a potential re-set in their bi-latera relations, moving from previous three years of intense geo-political tussle in the Middle East and an end of […]
The Geo-politics of a New Global Arms Treaty
The end of Mueller inquiry and its conclusion that Russia had played no role in influencing the US presidential elections has seemingly opened the way for a new global arms treaty, one that would also include countries like China, Britain, France apart from the US and Russia. Importantly enough, the initiative for a new treaty […]
Russia: the New Center of Afghan Peace Process?
In Kabul, the opening of a Russian cultural centre on the site of the House of Science and Culture, which was originally built in 1980 by the Soviet Union, stands as a symbol of Russia’s increasing presence in Afghanistan as also its role in helping put the Afghan war to an end and usher in […]
Will the US’ “Maximum Pressure” Strategy Vis-A-Vis Iran Work?
The US strategy of “maximum pressure” on Iran aims to bankrupt the Middle Eastern country in order to cripple its ability to (successfully) challenge hegemonic pursuits of its arch regional rivals: Israel and Saudi Arabia. While the strategy of imposing sanctions is not new, the idea of forcing all other countries—specifically all of the buyers […]
The Not-So-Strange Saga of S-400, Turkey and the US
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation could perhaps have not faced any bigger bombshell than seeing one of their countries buying an advance missile-technology from its primary rival, Russia. The very reason why NATO was founded was to ‘contain the Russian threat’ (then Soviet Union) to Europe. Today, Turkey, NATO’s second biggest military, is closely aligned […]
Will there be a War Between the US and the “Iranian Terrorists”?
A visible pattern of US foreign policy application in the past two decades has been direct wars/military interventions as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya. Importantly enough, all of these started with the US designating these countries, their rulers or some elements in them as “terrorists”, posing “threat” to the US security. In Afghanistan, it […]