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Geopolitics / Middle East

  • Kurds Are The Last Line Of Defense For The West In Kobani

    While still a predominant factor in the war being waged by the Islamic State, oil is taking a back seat as the full brunt of Middle East-style politics is unleashed on and around the small Syrian border town of Kobani. The oil extracted from this region in a large part helps the Sunni terror group finance its war. The battle for control of Kobani has indeed seen some of the heaviest fighting to date as fighters loyal to the Islamic State, or IS, have launched renewed attacks on Kurdish Peshmerga defenders, hitting them with mortars and car bombs, according to wire…

  • Kurds Are “Fighting For America” Against Islamic State

    The group known as the Islamic State, also often called by its former name, ISIS, (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), has established itself as the world’s largest, most ruthless and most successful terrorist organization. To achieve its goal, it has incorporated two of the Arab world’s most potent weapons: religion and oil.And both Islam and oil are proving to be powerful weapons, even when confronted by the best technology in weaponry that money can buy. Religion is buying them recruits, and oil is buying weapons and providing the funds needed to maintain their war effort.The group’s  construed form of…

  • Islamic State Battles Kurds Over Border Town To Maintain Oil Trade

    Islamic State militants have been fighting for the past week for control of a key town straddling the Syrian-Turkish border. A victory by IS in Kobani, better known in the Arab world as Ain al Arab, would be a setback for the U.S.-Saudi-led alliance fighting the world’s most dangerous and most powerful terrorist organization.More importantly, a victory for IS would give the group prestige among the dozens of groups lined up in the fight against Syrian President Bashar Assad. It would also secure the terror organization’s flow of oil to a lucrative market – its link to the outside world…

  • ‘Moderate Iran’ Still Only After One Thing

    Iranian Oil, Gas and International SanctionsThe Iranian petroleum industry was a very effective organization before the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979. The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) operated efficiently in all sectors of the industry, from upstream exploration to production, petrochemicals, and natural gas to downstream refining and domestic marketing. Further, before 1979, the NIOC was a very highly respected oil company with a well-functioning management in international sectors. In the early 1970s, the NIOC expanded impressively, investing heavily in refinery constructions in India, South Korea, South Africa, and Senegal under agreements to provide crude oil to these refineries.…

  • Azerbaijan’s Geopolitical Importance Goes Beyond Oil and Gas

    The Middle East is being consumed by some of the worst violence in its history, caused by Arabs themselves amidst unprecedented cruelty and destruction. At the rate the fighting is progressing, it is only a matter of time – and not much time – before we start to see tactics involving the bombing of oil and gas fields.It would not require very much for the infrastructures of the states involved in the conflict to collapse and crumble. Without crucial revenues from oil and gas, what would be left behind would be fractured countries with little more than the memories of…

  • Oil: A Blessing And A Curse For The Middle East

    What exactly is at stake in the battle for control of the Middle East, other than the obvious -- the region’s abundant oil and natural gas? And why is it coming to a head now?There are two aspects to what is currently transpiring in the Middle East: the battle for the region’s natural resources and the battle for the region’s human resources.Related: Oil Companies Turning Away From The Middle EastThe region’s natural resource wealth has long been both a blessing and a curse. It has helped countries like the United Arab Emirates and Oman achieve amazing progress in a relatively…

  • Islamic State’s Ultimate Goal: Saudi Arabia’s Oil Wells

    For the terrorist group known as the Islamic State, Syria and Iraq were a good place to start their campaign, but in order to survive and prosper it knew from the outset that it had no choice but to set its sights on the ultimate prize: the oil fields of Saudi Arabia. It is in that direction that the battle for control of the world’s largest oil fields is currently heading.Islamic State -- which has its origins in al-Qaeda – knows fully well that in order to sustain itself as a viable and lasting religious, political, economic and military entity…

  • 3 Things A Deal With Iran Would Likely Include

    In mid-July, negotiators from the so-called P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union) reached a mutual agreement with Iran to extend an interim six-month agreement for another four months. The agreement extends concrete constraints on Iran’s nuclear program -- in particular, a halt to Iran’s production of 20 percent enriched uranium --  in return for modest and temporary sanctions relief for the Islamic republic. It will provide more time for negotiators to conclude a permanent agreement defining the future size and scope of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for comprehensive sanctions relief.Although reports…

  • U.S. Airstrikes Against IS Won’t Be Enough

    The followers of the new so-called Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, have been on the rampage again this week, wreaking havoc and sowing death and destruction across Iraq. If U.S. President Barack Obama isn’t clear enough on the dangers presented by the fighters to the people in Iraq and Syria, perhaps he will understand the danger in allowing the Islamists control of Iraq’s and Syria’s oil facilities.The U.S. president made it clear over this past weekend that the American military intervention in Iraq is purely “for humanitarian reasons” and to protect U.S. military personnel deployed in the region. Then…

  • Does UAE Conscription Law Signal the End of the Dream?

    The United Arab Emirates announced in June that it is introducing compulsory military service for all male citizens aged between 18 and 30 and setting up a new national defense and reserve force. The surprising development in the stable country can only be seen as a reaction to the growing unrest in the surrounding region – Iraq, Syria, Israel and the Palestinian territories.Men who have finished secondary school will have to serve nine months, while those who have not will serve two years. Service will be optional for women. Citizens who complete service will enjoy a range of benefits, including…