Questions tagged [middle-east]

Questions related to politics of the Middle East and/or any of the territories within it (use the relevant tag of the Country alongside this).

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Iranian telecommunication minister Nov. 2018 claim of an Israel cyber-attack

On November 2018, Iranian telecommunication minister Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi accused Israel of a failed cyberattack on its telecommunications infrastructure using "a new generation of [the] ...
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364 views

Which Arab countries have explicitly stated they support Trump's peace plan for the Israel-Palestine issue?

In a BBC interview Palestinian PM Shtayyeh said that the presence of Arab countries' ambassadors when Trump announced his peace plan doesn't necessarily mean those countries endorse Trump's plan. So [...
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Does Soleimani official assassination create a precedent of foreign officials assassination? [closed]

Short situation description in diplomatic terms: Qassem Soleimani was in Iraq on an official visit, by invitation from Iraq's government he was an official Iranian representative US confirmed ...
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How does social security in Iran work and how good are the services it provides? [closed]

I read that Iran provides every citizen with social security covering unemployment, old age, disability, accidents, calamities, health and medical treatment and care services that is required by the ...
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2answers
135 views

Does Iran have religious protections for members of the Zoroastrianism faith?

I know Iran is majority Muslim and that some of the other faiths that can be found in Iran like the Bahai Faith have been persecuted throughout its existence. I have also learned that Zoroastrianism ...
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How much of a negative impact do bonyads have on Iran's economy?

Bonyads are charitable trusts that control about 20% of Iran's GDP and have been criticized for being "a major weakness of Iran's economy" and providing inadequate charity to the poor(Mackey, Sandra ...
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1answer
104 views

How well has Iran's nanotechnology industry developed and how much is it used for political goals? [closed]

I read that Iran has companies in the nanotechnology industry and has developed some degree of private industry around nanotech. How well has the nanotech industry of Iran developed and how much is it ...
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Does Iran have any direct ties to the Iranian Cyber Army?

I know that the Iranian Cyber Army has pledged loyalty to the leadership of Iran, but an article from 2011 says there is no official connection between this group and Iranian officials who don't fully ...
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50 views

Did the Bahraini uprising of 2011 accomplish anything?

The Bahraini uprising that occurred back in 2011 was considered a failure by various people especially since this act of civil disobedience didn't lead to democracy or the abdication of King Hamad, a ...
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257 views

How much of a threat is Al Qaeda in the 2020s?

I have been reading about al Qaeda and how support, even among extremists, for the terrorist group is waning and how they are losing recruits because they are failing to appeal to a younger generation ...
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How much influence does Saudi Arabia have over Nigeria?

I read this article that says that Saudi Arabia has some influence over Nigeria to the point where Nigeria may be on their side in the current Iran-Saudi Arabia proxy conflict. How much political and ...
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191 views

How are VPNs such a big industry in Iran despite internet censorship by the authoritarian government?

I have read about how VPNs are a big industry in Iran with the Iran Communication State mentioning it as a lucrative industry. However, the state is also big on internet censorship and it seems ...
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37 views

Has Iran taken any actions to protect its endangered wildlife?

I have read how at least 74 species of Iranian wildlife are on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature showing that they are in serious danger. The Union also says Iran is ...
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1answer
113 views

What are the cyber warfare capabilities of Iran's Revolutionary Guard?

In 2013, officials in Israeli claimed that the Revolutionary Guard of Iran was the fourth biggest cyber power when it came to cyber warfare. What are the cyber-warfare capabilities of the Islamic ...
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1answer
100 views

What role does the ideology Khomeinism play in modern day Iran?

I know that Khomeinism is the founding ideology of the Islamic Republic of Iran based on the political ideology of Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. What I want to know is how much influence does ...
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163 views

Does Iran or Saudi Arabia have more regional influence in the Middle East?

I have read about the Iran-Saudi Arabia proxy conflict and I would like to know who has more regional influence in the Middle East in terms of political and cultural influence, Iran or Saudi Arabia?
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176 views

Iranian retaliation and UA plane crash: What has been the predominant reaction of the Iranians? [closed]

What do the Iranian people mostly think about the recent Ukrainian plane crash in Tehran? Do they believe in the Iranian interpretation of a technical error or do they believe the Western states ...
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Is Iran missile strike the first unanswered strike to the US after Cuban crisis?

As everyone already heard, recently Iran launched a missile strike on US military bases in Iraq. US didn't answer with anything but tweets. Is it the first time after Cuban Missile Crisis, when armed ...
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Why do Muslim refugees seek asylum in Europe and not in rich countries in the Middle East?

There are several rich "Muslim" states in Middle East: Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Bahrain and so on. It seems that none of them want to receive Syrian, Iraqi, North African and other Muslim refugees. ...
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1answer
175 views

Is the US securing oil fields illegal under the International Law?

Recently, Trump claims something about controlling and securing oil fields in the north-east Syria. Is it illegal by the International Law? I don't remember UN resolution about allowing such an ...
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Why are there never-ending wars in the Middle East?

War seems to be a normal daily routine in the Middle East, the war in Iraq, Syria... Why are these countries not normal? Or is it due to external powers keeping those countries at constant wars in ...
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284 views

How did Wahhabism come into power as an influential movement in Islam?

Why does it have so many followers, and how does it contrast with other versions of Islam? How has it influenced the politics of Islamic (and non-Islamic) nations?
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357 views

Are Saudi Arabia's air defences actually working? [closed]

Saudi Arabia has one of the biggest military budgets in the world. State purchased huge amount of western weapon systems, including the most advanced of them - US Patriot systems. It is even ...
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1answer
208 views

Why are there so few democratic governments in the Middle East? [closed]

In the Middle East (let’s define it here as the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Turkey, and Iran), there are very few democracies. According to the Democracy Index from 2018, only one country in this area, ...
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394 views

What has been the result (so far) of the new US sanctions on Iran?

About 14 months ago, President Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran. As I remember, one of goals of the sanctions was to reduce Iran's influence in the Middle East by reducing its financial resources. ...
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7answers
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Why does the U.S military use mercenaries?

With a defense budget now totaling ~686-billion dollars a year – which is about the size of the next 8 largest defense budgets combined (figure) – why does the U.S military see the need to ...
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252 views

Is the PKK [still] a terrorist group?

I am wondering if the designation of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) as a terrorist group might be outdated. Are there any instances of the PKK targeting civilians during the insurgency of 2015-...
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379 views

Is Arab Nationalism relevant today?

What is the contemporary relevance of Pan-Arabism? Or is it merely a relic of the past? Do any political parties or leaders in the Arab world profess this notion or has it evaporated since the '67 ...
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1answer
379 views

Can the US Congress prevent a military action against Iran?

I'd like to know if Trump decides to carry out a military action against Iran, can it be prevented by the Congress? In other words, I want to know which steps are needed to declare war (approval by ...
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335 views

Why is Oman interested in diplomatic relationship with Israel and vice versa?

Netanyahu visited Oman on the invitation of Sultan Qaboos bin Syed. Looks like Oman would be the 1st country in GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. What ...
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1answer
263 views

What options does the US have in response to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi?

The explanation by the Saudi's have been ever changing. First it was a flat denial of his death, now they've acknowledged it once video evidence was presented the the Turkish media. Saudi Arabia ...
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386 views

Yemen - why isn't the West distancing itself from the blockade?

This question really isn't about the airstrikes and civilian casualties. Nor it is about the arms sales to Saudi Arabia. These are real concerns, but similar to those found in many other conflicts. ...
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718 views

Why would US NOT sanction Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi's possible killing?

We have a question about motivating western countries to start sanctions against Saudi Arabia. It is rather simple question - murdering and torture in embassy are hard things to explain And what is ...
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328 views

Which countries are friends/allies in Middle East?

In the latest news about the murder of a journalist it was hinted that Turkey and Saudi Arabia are not friends. I knew Saudi Arabia and Iran are not friends either, nor are Turkey and Iran, or Iran ...
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Why is Iran determined by U.S. as the biggest state sponsor of terror in the world today?

This is the official stance of the Trump administration. Was it also the position of the Obama administration and Bush administration? What is this based on? I know that America considers Hezbollah ...
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634 views

Is the American government threatening Iran with war?

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy is an American think tank who is researching some programs all based on the middle east. This think tank has some former government officers including R....
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1answer
181 views

Have some of Russian troops withdrawn from Syria since Putin's announcement in december 2017?

On 11 december 2017, Vladimir Putin announced that Russian army would partially withdraw from Syria. "In two years, the Russian armed forces, together with the Syrian army, have defeated the most ...
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379 views

What has been Russia's response to the US strikes on Syria?

Russia warned of consequences for the strikes against Syria, and it seems they have made warnings prior to the strikes. Has there been a response or a mobilization of their military that might ...
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360 views

Have any Western governments officially conceded that becoming involved in the Arab Spring was a mistake?

The Arab Spring has in hindsight been a complete disaster for the region. Syria is in a massive civil war. Libya effectively split apart into several state. Egypt is experiencing constant turmoil. And ...
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378 views

Syria: Why Is There A Civil War There? [closed]

Wikipedia characterizes the current war in Syria as a civil war: The Syrian Civil War (Arabic: الحرب الأهلية السورية‎, Al-ḥarb al-ʼahliyyah as-sūriyyah) is an ongoing multi-sided armed conflict ...
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Saudi-Israel relations a reality? What are its potential effects? [closed]

There seems to be gathering rumours of an under-the-table, non-official alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Both fear the rise of Iran and Hizbulla and it would be logical that they work ...
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1answer
96 views

Implications of a Kurdish Exit from Iraq [closed]

How would Kurdish officials deal with the situation following a "Yes" vote in a referendum to exit the Iraqi confederation. The "Kurdistan" so formed would border four countries: Iraq, Turkey Syria ...
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1answer
176 views

Why did Saudi prince visit Israel? [closed]

There have been reports of Saudi Crown Prince bin Salman going on a secret visit to Israel. What can be the reasons behind it?
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4k views

When did modern Middle-Eastern terrorism start?

Terrorism, specifically coming from the Middle East, has been an epidemic. It has spread across the globe, to the US, France, UK, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Germany and even to parts of ...
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180 views

Is enfranchisement the answer to the middle east problem, or is dictatorship necessary for stability in the region? [closed]

There are examples to show that the government acts to moderate the wishes of the population at large. In case of a democracy, the religious mindset of the people would translate into policies that ...
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1answer
3k views

Why is Hizb ut-Tahrir outlawed in Muslim countries but allowed in Western Countries?

Hizb ut Tahrir is an International, Pan-Islamist Organization which aims to unite the Muslims under the Caliphate (as its promised with them in prophecies) and its proposed state would have Sharia law ...
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3k views

Do Sunnis support monarchy and Shias support republic?

In several accounts about the Sunni-Shia conflicts erupting in the Middle East (such as this one) the Sunnis are usually viewed as taking the side of a monarchy and the Shia the side of the rebels ...
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What is the reason behind Qatar isolation?

It is very clear that, in last few years, Qatar has become a little independent of its politics from the Saudi Arabia. Most Arab countries are followers to KSA which is a itself a follower for USA. ...
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1answer
131 views

Is Saudi Arabia (and co) justified in sanctioning Qatar on the pretext of terrorism support? [closed]

As in the title, have they have made legitimate justifications based on tangible evidence or its mainly another excuse for something that they've done in the past as well? To my understanding Saudi ...
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231 views

What did we learn about Trump's strategy to achieve peace in the Middle East after his May 2017 visit to Israel and Palestine? [closed]

Trump famously declared that he is the one to bring peace to the Middle East region. He recently visited Israel and Palestine, meeting with Netanjahu and Abbas. Did he mention the peace process ...