Author Archives: JON GAMBRELL

{FD} UN panel calls on Bahrain to release activist Nabeel Rajab

A special United Nations panel is urging Bahrain to immediately release imprisoned activist Nabeel Rajab, describing him as the victim of government-sponsored “persecution” for his political views in the island kingdom. Continue reading

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{FD} UAE responds to AP report on deals with al-Qaida in Yemen

The United Arab Emirates on Monday said it was actively fighting al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen after an Associated Press report outlined how Emirati forces cut secret deals with the militants to get them to abandon territory. Continue reading

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{FD} Videos show gunfire amid Iran protests over water scarcity

Online videos appear to show Iranian security forces shooting at protesters early Sunday amid demonstrations over water scarcity in the country’s south, though authorities said only one person was wounded in the clashes. Continue reading

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{FD} UAE offers its defense in Qatar lawsuit at UN high court

The United Arab Emirates on Thursday disputed Qatar’s discrimination lawsuit before the United Nations’ highest court, alleging there was evidence of Doha’s “support of terrorism, its interference in the affairs of its neighbors and its distribution of… Continue reading

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{FD} UN’s highest court begins hearing Qatar lawsuit against UAE

The United Nations’ highest court on Wednesday began hearing a lawsuit by Qatar accusing the United Arab Emirates of “discrimination against Qatar and Qatari citizens” amid a yearlong boycott by four Arab nations. Continue reading

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{FD} Protests in Iran as Rouhani says US wants ‘economic war’

Angry protesters in Iran’s capital held a third day of demonstrations on Tuesday over the country’s anemic economy as President Hassan Rouhani told the nation that it faces an “economic war” with the United States following America’s pullout from the n… Continue reading

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{FD} Videos: Iran protesters confront police at parliament

Protesters angered by Iran’s cratering economy confronted police in front of parliament on Monday, with security forces firing tear gas at them, according to online videos, the first such confrontation after similar demonstrations rocked the country at… Continue reading

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{FD} Imprisoned Bahrain opposition leader acquitted in spy case

A prominent Shiite cleric in Bahrain who led a now-shuttered opposition party was acquitted Thursday of spying charges with two colleagues, marking a rare victory for activists in the island kingdom amid a yearslong clampdown on dissent. Continue reading

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{FD} UAE’s campaign for Yemen port city a test of ‘Little Sparta’

The United Arab Emirates is a country better known for oil riches and skyscraper skylines, but right now it is prosecuting what could be a crucial offensive in the 3-year-old conflict in Yemen. Continue reading

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{FD} With nuclear deal under threat, Iran shows off centrifuges

The star of a live television interview in Iran’s new nuclear workshop wasn’t the head of the country’s atomic agency, but three centrifuges labeled in English in the background, advanced devices Tehran is prohibited from using by the nuclear deal with… Continue reading

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{FD} Bahrain court denies appeal by activist Nabeel Rajab

A Bahrain appeals court on Tuesday upheld a five-year prison sentence for human rights activist Nabeel Rajab amid the island kingdom’s clampdown on all dissent, a verdict that has been widely criticized internationally. Continue reading

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{FD} AP News Guide: What to know about the year-old Qatar crisis

The diplomatic crisis gripping the energy-rich country of Qatar will enter its second year on June 5. Continue reading

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{FD} Analysis: Qatar crisis widens fissures among US allies

At a time when the United States hopes to exert maximum pressure on Iran, a regional bloc created by Gulf Arab countries to counter Tehran looks increasingly more divided ahead of the anniversary of the diplomatic crisis in Qatar. Continue reading

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{FD} Analysis: Crumbling of nuclear deal boosts Iran hard-liners

Across Iran, the hopefulness that followed the 2015 nuclear deal has been replaced by a rising hard-line fever with President Donald Trump’s decision to pull America from the accord. Continue reading

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{FD} AP EXPLAINS: What is Iran’s atomic deal? Why is it targeted?

Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers faces its biggest diplomatic challenge yet as President Donald Trump appears poised to withdraw the United States from the accord. Continue reading

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{FD} Billions on the line for firms as Trump weighs Iran pullout

From airplanes to oilfields, billions of dollars are on the line for international corporations as President Donald Trump weighs whether to pull America out of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers. Continue reading

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{FD} AP Analysis: Iran has few options to avenge Syria strikes

After a second suspected Israeli strike killing Iranian forces in Syria, the Islamic Republic has few ways to retaliate as its leaders wrestle with both unrest at home and the prospect of its nuclear deal collapsing abroad. Continue reading

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{FD} Report: Iran destroys mass graves of those executed in 1988

Iran is destroying or redeveloping the sites of mass graves holding those executed in a 1988 wartime purge that killed as many as 5,000 people, a report released Monday alleges. Continue reading

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{FD} Japan PM Abe arrives in UAE on Middle East trip

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday at the start of a trip across the Mideast, meeting first with a crucial oil supplier for his energy-hungry nation. Continue reading

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{FD} Videos raise questions over Saudi missile intercept claims

Online videos are raising new questions about Saudi Arabia’s claims that it has intercepted nearly every ballistic missile launched by Shiite rebels in Yemen targeting the kingdom. Continue reading

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{FD} South Korean president visits UAE amid deepening ties

South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s visit to the United Arab Emirates this week shows the Asian nation’s deepening cooperation with the Gulf country, from buying its oil to building the Arabian Peninsula’s first nuclear power plant and potentially bac… Continue reading

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{FD} Gulf Arabs relish Tillerson firing; Iran weighs nuclear deal

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s firing is reverberating across a Middle East where Iran fears his replacement will fight to end the 2015 nuclear deal, a hope of Gulf Arab states as Palestinians worry about a further-emboldened nationalist Israe… Continue reading

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{FD} Ancient temple left neglected as Yemen war threatens history

Yemen’s culture and historical sites have been affected by the country’s stalemated, nearly 3-year-old war. Continue reading

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{FD} Saudi Arabia, at war with Yemen rebels, sends aid to nation

At a wind-swept camp for those displaced by Yemen’s war, a young Yemeni woman named Leemi, who supports her child and eight others, gratefully accepted aid from Saudi Arabia. Continue reading

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{FD} Outside Yemen’s rebel-held capital, stalemated war rages on

In the rocky highlands outside of Yemen’s rebel-held capital, it quickly becomes clear how the Arab world’s poorest country remains mired in a stalemated civil war. Continue reading

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{FD} On Mideast visit, US house speaker vows to confront Iran

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan came to the United Arab Emirates on Thursday promising to take a harder line on Iran’s ballistic missile program and its regional proxies, and saying he was open to imposing new economic sanctions. Continue reading

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{FD} UAE says Qatar fighter jets intercept flights, Doha denies

The United Arab Emirates claimed Qatari fighter jets intercepted two of its commercial airliners in international airspace on the way to Bahrain, allegations denied by Qatar. Continue reading

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{FD} Analysis: Iran protests show danger of economic woes

The protesters rallied for days in Iran, chanting against government corruption and demanding justice. Continue reading

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{FD} AP FACT CHECK: Iranian leaders on foreign hand in protests

As nationwide protests have shaken Iran over the last week, the Islamic Republic increasingly has blamed its foreign foes for fomenting the unrest. Continue reading

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{FD} Q&A: What’s happening with Iran’s ongoing protests?

Iran has seen its largest anti-government protests since the disputed presidential election in 2009, with thousands taking to the streets in several cities in recent days. Continue reading

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{FD} Protests in Iran fanned by exiled journalist, messaging app

As protests over Iran’s faltering economy rapidly spread across the country, a channel on a mobile messaging app run by an exiled journalist helped fan the passions of some of those who took to the street. Continue reading

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{FD} AP News Guide: What to know about the Qatar crisis

Kuwait is preparing to host a summit of six Gulf countries amid the ongoing diplomatic dispute targeting Qatar. Continue reading

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{FD} Qatar’s ruler to attend Gulf meeting in Kuwait amid dispute

Qatar’s ruling emir will attend a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council this week in Kuwait, his government said Monday, a summit coming amid a boycott of the energy-rich country by three of the council’s members. Continue reading

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{FD} France’s Macron, Arab leaders to inaugurate Louvre Abu Dhabi

French President Emmanuel Macron will be joining Arab leaders to inaugurate the new Louvre Abu Dhabi in the capital of the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday evening. Continue reading

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{FD} Louvre Abu Dhabi prepares to unveil itself to the world

Stepping into the Louvre Abu Dhabi, one of the first artworks a visitor sees is a two-headed Neolithic statue from Jordan, one of the oldest known in human history. Continue reading

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{FD} CIA release of bin Laden files renews interest in Iran links

The CIA’s release of documents seized during the 2011 raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden has again raised questions about Iran’s support of the extremist network leading up to the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Continue reading

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{FD} UAE stops issuing visas for North Korean laborers

The United Arab Emirates says it will stop issuing new visas to North Korean laborers, becoming the latest Gulf country to cut back on ties to Pyongyang amid tensions between North Korea and the U.S. The announcement by the UAE Foreign Ministry on Thur… Continue reading

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{FD} Rabbis say Bahrain king wants Arab boycott of Israel to end

Hosting a Los Angeles event with the son of Bahrain’s king, two prominent U.S. rabbis let something slip out: the island nation’s ruler thinks the longtime boycott of Israel by Arab countries should end. Continue reading

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{FD} Kuwait to expel North Korean ambassador, other diplomats

Kuwait says it will expel North Korea’s ambassador and four other diplomats. Continue reading

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{FD} Qatar diplomatic crisis engulfs a major US military base

Qatar’s emir is persona non grata to four U.S.-allied Arab states that accuse his wealthy Gulf nation of sponsoring extremists, but he recently received a warm welcome at the sprawling military base his troops share with thousands of American soldiers. Continue reading

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{FD} Iraqi Shiite cleric’s Saudi, UAE trips show Gulf realpolitik

An influential Iraqi Shiite cleric, notorious for his followers’ deadly attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq over a decade ago and thought at times to have ties to Iran, has two new stamps in his passport — from the two fiercest Sunni critics of Tehran in the Gulf. Continue reading

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{FD} Dubai billionaire seeks to sell Trump-branded villas abroad

During recent trips to Croatia and Malta, a Dubai-based billionaire and business partner of the Trump Organization looked more like a head of state himself — mingling with government dignitaries, receiving a presidential reception and visiting the glittering Mediterranean Sea. Continue reading

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{FD} Thousands of North Korean laborers in US-allied Gulf nations

As pressure over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program grows, America’s most valued Arab allies host thousands of its laborers, whose wages help Pyongyang evade sanctions and build the missiles now threatening the U.S. and its Asian partners, officials… Continue reading

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{FD} US quietly publishes once-expunged papers on 1953 Iran coup

Once expunged from its official history, documents outlining the U.S.-backed 1953 coup in Iran have been quietly published by the State Department, offering a new glimpse at an operation that ultimately pushed the country toward its Islamic Revolution … Continue reading

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{FD} Trump Organization ended Qatar push 6 days after swearing in

The Trump Organization dissolved subsidiaries created to pursue business opportunities in Qatar six days after Donald Trump was inaugurated as America’s 45th president, according to a new financial disclosure form filed on his behalf. Continue reading

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{FD} AP Analysis: Qatar crisis exposes a long Gulf family fight

Gulf Arab nations often get considered one giant family, as many ruling tribes intermarried and have long ties stretching back to the days before oil turned dusty fishing villages into skyscraper-studded metropolises. Continue reading

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{FD} Kuwait tries to mediate crisis between Qatar, Arab nations

Qatar’s foreign minister says Kuwait is trying to mediate and solve a diplomatic crisis that has seen Arab nations cut off diplomatic ties. Continue reading

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{FD} Arab nations cut ties with Qatar in new Mideast crisis

Bahrain says it is cutting diplomatic ties to Qatar amid a deepening rift between Gulf Arab nations. Continue reading

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{FD} Bahrain raid on Shiite cleric’s town: 5 killed, 286 arrested

Bahraini police raid on the hometown of a prominent Shiite cleric facing possible deportation has left at least five demonstrators dead and 286 people arrested in an assault in which officers fired tear gas and shotguns at protesters. Continue reading

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{FD} AP Explains: Voting, governance and clerical power in Iran

Iranians vote Friday for the next president of the Islamic Republic, but how does that elected leader fit into the country’s clerically managed government that approves candidates ultimately overseen by its supreme leader? Continue reading

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