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How the Iranian regime allows drug trafficking for foreign currency liquidity

The US called on the major buyers of Iranian oil to halt all oil purchases, of course, not all will follow this demand, but the fact that Iran’s oil exports will decline is beyond question. On the other hand, due to sanctions and pressure from the United States, large European companies are leaving Iran. Only a few days ago, the US president introduced a new package of sanctions that would hit the agonizing Iranian economy hard.

As a result of all these sanctions and restrictive measures, the flow of foreign currency to Iran is expected to decrease, and this will affect Iran’s ability to carry out its expansion in the region. However, it should not be forgotten that it is not the only source of large amounts of foreign currency for Iran.

One of the sources of stable currency inflow is the involvement in the international drug trade.

Currently, illegal drug trafficking is considered one of the most profitable activities. The wealth of monarchs pales in comparison with the money that heads of drug cartels earn.

Every year drug dealers come up with all the new methods of transportation and marketing of their goods. No one seems to be impressed by the use of submarines to transport and the Internet to sell drugs.

Now, imagine that the state is involved in drug trafficking, either directly or through a proxy structure. Certainly, states have much more possibilities of hidden transportation, storing, marketing and subsequent hiding of evidence that the drug cartels have.

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August 16, 2018, “Al Arabiya”

The mass arrests of Azerbaijani activists in Iran

As the situation in Iran continues to deteriorate, minorities continue to get repressed. These days we witnessed Ahwazi protests southwest of Iran. People were protesting mainly against lack of water, but the government responded to these protests with more repression.

Furthermore, the government’s behavior continued northwest of the country, in South Azerbaijan. More than 25 million Azerbaijanis live in Iran. Despite this fact, these people, as well as other Iranian minorities, are deprived of basic rights, such as receiving an education in their native language. It is hard to imagine, in the 21st century, that a group of people who are larger than the population of Sweden, Norway and Finland put together, are deprived of a right to receive an education in their native language. If we include other Iranian minorities, the figure will be even higher.

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July 9, 2018, “Al Arabiya”

Water crisis in Iran: Causes, consequences and perspectives

If the 20th century can be called “the Age of Oil” the 21st century can become “the Age of Water”.

As the population grows and agricultural development expands, water consumption also increases. And while certain countries suffer from floods, a number of countries, in particular, in the Middle East region, suffer from the water shortage.

Drought and water shortage in the Middle East countries can lead to economic and consequently political instability. In this regard, the most vulnerable country is Iran. Unlike the Gulf countries, Iran couldn’t develop an effective system of water supply and use.

Even though the Iranian regime is trying to convince its people and the whole world that the US and Israel “want to destroy Iran”, in fact, drought poses a bigger threat for the future of Iran than US and Israel taken together.

According to the recent joint research of Iranian and American scientists, drought and water shortage in ancient times were causes of the collapse of ancient Empires in this region.

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July 3, 2018, “Al Arabiya”

Why JCPOA was a Bad Idea

The United States signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) when Obama was in office. This process was accompanied by disputes. The decision to quit JCPOA, which President Trump announced on May 8, 2018, is also accompanied by disputes.

From the outset, this agreement was controversial, and many people in the U.S. and Middle East were against it. Washington hasn’t been on good terms with Iran after JCPOA, but it also spoiled its relations with traditional allies in the region.

JCPOA diverges from the U.S. national interests, both short- and long-term.

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May 24, 2018, “The Daily Caller”

Russian-Israeli friendship and its impact on the Syrian crisis

Recently, Western media have been writing about Russia’s return to the Middle East and its increasing role in the region. Indeed, Russia has been involved in the Syrian war for last several years. There is also tactical rapprochement with Turkey and Iran.

Certain analytics and experts believe that the Russian military presence in Syria is a guarantee of Assad’s regime survival. In Moscow you can hear an expression: “Russians don’t desert their own”. Let’s look, does Russia actually protect Assad’s regime and is he such a valuable ally of Russia?

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May 24, 2018, “Al Arabiya”

Iran became a prison for minorities

Perhaps, no one may be surprised by the rampage and injustice, taking place in Iran.

Recently world mass media were writing about the Iranian police beating and dragging a woman along the ground, because her hijab was loose. This woman’s story reached media because somebody could film it, but there are thousands of such situations, not filmed by anyone.

Of course all citizens of Iran suffer from the repressive clerical regime, but if u are a member of any national minority, you suffer more.

Being a national minority in Iran means not having a right to receive education in your native language, not having a right to give your children national names, sometimes being afraid to tell about your national identity.

It turns out that in the age of space travel and high speed internet, there are still countries, where people are deprived of basic rights.

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April 27, 2018, “Al Arabiya”

Do Iran and Russia want a Military Confrontation with the US Over Syria?

Syria has been a bleeding wound of the Middle East since 2011. Iran and Russia are involved in the Syrian conflict on the side of Bashar Assad’s regime. Of course, each side has its own interest and operates accordingly. Perhaps, if Iran and Russia hadn’t intervened in the conflict, the fate of Bashar Assad would have been already sealed, but the intervention of Iran and Russia has changed the course of the conflict. Russian intervention, to be exact. Iran had been helping Bashar Assad’s regime for several years, before Russian intervention, but they were not able to turn the tide of war.

For Russia, which is already involved in the conflict in Ukraine, Syria has become a kind of a second front. Taking into account that Russia has serious financial and economic difficulties as a result of the fall in oil prices and international sanctions, one might think that Russia’s participation in the war in Syria and confrontation with US is pure madness. However, only those who are not familiar with the sentiment in the Russian society and Putin’s system can think this way.

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April 18, 2018, “The Daily Caller”

Mohammed bin Salman’s visit breaks new ground in Saudi-US relations

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s successful visit to US can be called truly historical. If we review the character of the meetings and the route of his long trip, we can understand why it can be called historical. Historical not only for Saudi Arabia, but also for the whole Gulf region and the Arab world.

This year it will be 80 years since the oil production began in Saudi Arabia in 1938. It is notable that the anniversary of the first oil-production coincides with the efforts of Saudi Arabia to shift away from oil dependency, diversify its economy and leapfrog into the era of high technology.

If you look at the kind of businessmen Mohammad Bin Salman chose to meet with during his trip, you will find that the majority of them are not representatives of old banks, oil companies and metallurgical giants, but businesspersons from high-tech industry, people that have built their billion-dollar businesses from scratch. The Prince understands that the future will be driven by high-tech and it will be the creative people who will drive this technolgy. We live in a world where a portal selling various goods can be more profitable than a large factory and respectively can cost more.

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April 13, 2018, “Al Arabiya”

Iran using religious indoctrination to gain influence in Georgia

Media outlets and research centers of the world write a lot about Iran’s expansionary policies in the Middle East. In fact, Iran’s hegemonic tendencies in the region are a matter of serious concern and should be studied in-depth.

However, few in the global media and the wider research community pay adequate attention to Iran’s growing interference in South Caucasus. This region has three important former Soviet republics: Georgia — which has complicated relations with Russia and has taken the path of European integration; Christian Armenia — which is an ally of Russia, Turkey and Israel as well as has the highest percentage of Shiite population after Iran – and secular Azerbaijan.

Each of these countries is of specific interest for Tehran. Iranian authorities have to act selectively and more carefully than they did in the Middle East, for a number of reasons.

This article focuses on Iranian approach towards Georgia, which is a small country in South Caucasus. According to official data in 2014, the population of Georgia (without the provinces, which are not controlled by Tbilisi) officially stands at 3.7 million..

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April 3, 2018, “Al Arabiya”