Middle East

Likud/Israel Beiteinu bloc prepares ground for war and savage austerity measures

By Jean Shaoul, 1 November 2012

The Likud party has overwhelmingly backed a planned bloc with the ultra-nationalist Israel Beiteinu in the January 22 election.

US sought use of British bases for war against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 27 October 2012

US access to military bases on Cyprus, Ascension Island and Diego Garcia would significantly boost the Pentagon’s ability to wage round-the-clock air strikes against Iran.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

26 October 2012

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US-Israeli preparations for war against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 25 October 2012

The US and Israel are currently conducting their largest-ever joint military exercise to ready Israel’s anti-missile systems for a conflict with Iran.

Lebanon bombings linked to civil war in Syria

By Niall Green, 22 October 2012

The two deadly bombings in Beirut point to the growing threat that the Syrian conflict will spread to Lebanon and throughout the region.

Turkey’s foreign minister demands war in the name of “human rights”

By Niall Green, 22 October 2012

Speaking with the Guardian newspaper, Ahmet Davutoglu employed the lie that a war against Syria was necessary to defend “human rights.”

Turkey leads US-sponsored military encirclement of Syria

By Chris Marsden, 18 October 2012

Despite concerns of blowback in Syria due to the arming of jihadist groups, a military build-up on Syria’s borders is proceeding apace.

New evidence that US invasion has produced epidemic of birth defects in Iraq

By Fred Mazelis, 17 October 2012

An extraordinary epidemic of congenital birth defects has affected Iraqi cities over the past decade, particularly in Fallujah and Basra.

US Defense Secretary warns of “Pearl Harbor” cyber attack by Iran

By Niall Green, 15 October 2012

In a speech in New York Thursday, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta warned that the US faced a threat from Iran equivalent to September 11 or the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Turkey’s hijacking of Syrian plane raises specter of wider war

By Bill Van Auken, 13 October 2012

Turkey’s forcing down of a Syrian passenger plane flying from Moscow has escalated tensions in the region and drawn a sharp protest from the Russian government.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

12 October 2012

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In preparation for wider war, Pentagon deploys task force in Jordan

By Bill Van Auken, 11 October 2012

In preparation for a wider war in the Middle East, the Pentagon has deployed a 150-strong task force in Jordan.

US, Israel plan joint strikes on Iran

By Jean Shaoul, 10 October 2012

The US and Israel are planning joint strikes against Iran, according to reports in the Israeli media and Foreign Policy magazine.

US wages economic war on Iran

By Peter Symonds, 6 October 2012

As in the case of Iraq, the US-led sanctions on Iran are designed to weaken the country in the lead-up to a military attack.

Mass protest against threatened Turkey-Syria war

By Chris Marsden, 6 October 2012

Tens of thousands of anti-war protesters gathered in Istanbul, Thursday evening, opposing military action against Syria.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

5 October 2012

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Turkey attacks Syria after stray shelling

By Bill Van Auken, 4 October 2012

Turkey’s military attacked Syria Wednesday after a stray shell from Syria killed five in a Turkish border town. With Ankara invoking NATO’s collective defense agreement, the danger is rising of a direct Western intervention.

US removes Iranian MEK from terrorist list

By Peter Symonds, 3 October 2012

Whether Washington brands a group as “terrorist” or not is determined purely by whether it serves the interests of American imperialism.

Incumbent President Saakashvili’s party defeated in Georgian election

By Clara Weiss, 3 October 2012

Incumbent Georgian President Saakashvili conceded defeat in the parliamentary elections held Monday.

Netanyahu’s war ultimatum at the UN

By Barry Grey, 1 October 2012

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s belligerent and provocative speech last Thursday before the United Nations General Assembly underscored that plans for an unprovoked military attack on Iran are far advanced.

AKP government moves against Turkish army

By Jean Shaoul, 29 September 2012

Several generals were sentenced to lengthy prison terms on charges of plotting a coup against the Islamist AKP government.

Israeli prime minister lays out path to war with Iran

By Joseph Kishore, 28 September 2012

In a speech before the UN, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded a “red line” for Iran’s nuclear program that would lead to military action in the spring or summer of next year.

Turkish government raises consumption taxes

By Isaac Finn, 28 September 2012

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has announced plans to raise consumption tax on automobiles, petroleum products, and alcoholic drinks to help pay off the budget deficit.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

28 September 2012

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US elections conceal preparations for war with Iran

By Barry Grey, 27 September 2012

In the midst of a presidential election campaign, the fact that plans for war against Iran are far advanced is being concealed from the American people.

Israeli leader presses Obama to set trigger for war against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 18 September 2012

Netanyahu’s remarks were designed to create the false impression that the country is on the brink of building a nuclear weapon.

Anti-US protests rage across the Middle East

By Bill Van Auken, 15 September 2012

Angry anti-US protests, including the storming of embassies, continued for a fourth day Friday from Indonesia to Morocco.

The US embassy protests

By Alex Lantier, 14 September 2012

Protests at US embassies against an anti-Islamic video are a devastating popular verdict on the policies of the US government in the Middle East.

Protests against Palestinian Authority austerity measures

By Jean Shaoul, 14 September 2012

The Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian trade unions and Israel are united in opposing a growing tide of protests in the West Bank.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

14 September 2012

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Bombings, death sentence stoke sectarian tensions in Iraq

By Bill Van Auken, 11 September 2012

A nationwide terrorist bombing campaign combined with the handing down of a death sentence for an exiled Sunni vice president threaten to reignite the deadly sectarian tensions that erupted during the US occupation of Iraq.

Turkey ramps up war threats against Syria

By Chris Marsden, 11 September 2012

Turkey has escalated its war rhetoric against Syria, placing itself at the forefront of any military intervention to depose the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

US steps up military operations in Yemen

By Niall Green, 10 September 2012

The Obama administration is intensifying its bloody campaign in the impoverished Middle Eastern country of Yemen.

US escalates CIA intervention on Syrian-Turkish border

By Bill Van Auken, 8 September 2012

Washington is rushing a beefed-up contingent of CIA operatives to the border between Turkey and Syria in a bid to escalate the war for regime change.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

7 September 2012

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Obama considers new “red lines” against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 5 September 2012

The laying down of “red lines”—that is, the triggers for war—would bring the prospect of an unprovoked US attack on Iran one step closer.

Jewish youth charged with assault on Israeli Arabs

By Jean Shaoul, 3 September 2012

An attack by a gang of Jewish youths on several Palestinian Israelis that left one 17-year-old Palestinian close to death has shocked Israel.

UN Secretary-General: Washington’s emissary at Tehran summit

By Peter Symonds, 31 August 2012

Ban Ki-moon used the Non-Aligned Movement gathering to criticise and press the Iranian regime on a range of issues, from nuclear programs to the civil war in Syria.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

31 August 2012

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Israeli court rules army not responsible for Rachel Corrie’s death

By Jean Shaoul, 30 August 2012

Haifa’s district court has dismissed a civilian suit brought by the parents of Rachel Corrie against the Israeli security forces for the death of their daughter in March 2003.

IAEA talks with Iran break down

By Peter Symonds, 27 August 2012

The failure of the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programs has prompted new threats from Israel.

Washington and its allies work to destabilise Lebanon

Part two

By Jean Shaoul, 24 August 2012

This is the conclusion of a two-part examination of the background to the current crisis in Lebanon.

Washington and its allies work to destabilise Lebanon

Part one

By Jean Shaoul, 23 August 2012

This is the first part of a two-part article examining the background to the current crisis in Lebanon.

US proxy war in Syria spreads to Lebanon and Iraq

By Eric London, 18 August 2012

The intensifying US proxy war in Syria is raising fears of a sectarian war throughout the Middle East.

Israeli threats heighten danger of Middle East war

By Peter Symonds, 17 August 2012

Regardless of its immediate purpose, Israeli warmongering can only heighten tensions throughout the region and add to the dangers of war.

Memo exposes Israeli war plan against Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 16 August 2012

A leaked memo providing a detailed blueprint for an unprovoked Israeli war against Iran coincides with multiple Israeli media reports indicating that such an attack may be imminent.

US coordinates with Turkey in proxy Syria war

By Chris Marsden, 16 August 2012

US efforts to bring down the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria focus on collusion with Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Iranian earthquakes leave over 300 dead

By Mark Church, 14 August 2012

The communities affected are remote, with limited transport infrastructure making rescue and relief efforts difficult.

Clinton visits Turkey to step up Syrian proxy war

By Niall Green, 13 August 2012

Washington is continuing to intensify its bloody intervention into the Syrian war, aiming to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

Egypt launches Sinai crackdown in collusion with Israel

By Jean Shaoul, 9 August 2012

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood government has launched a crackdown in response to an armed raid at the Rafah border checkpoint.

New York Times gives glimpse of sectarian bloodbath being prepared by Syria intervention

By Bill Van Auken, 8 August 2012

An article published last week in the New York Times on the spillover of sectarian tensions from Syria into Turkey belies the “democratic” and “humanitarian” pretexts for the ever more violent drive for regime change by the US and its allies.

Turkey attacks Kurds, threatens military action against Syria

By Chris Marsden, 7 August 2012

On the eve of an expected offensive in Aleppo by the Syrian regime, Turkey has threatened to invade Syria.

Israeli cabinet reveals draconian austerity budget

By Jean Shaoul, 3 August 2012

Israel’s cabinet has approved austerity measures aimed at increasing taxes by NIS13 billion ($3.25 billion) and slashing state expenditure by NIS12 billion ($3 billion).

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

3 August 2012

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Israel steps up military threats against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 2 August 2012

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu warned US Defence Secretary Panetta that time was running out for a peaceful resolution to the Iranian nuclear issue.

Book on Mossad confirms Israel assassinated Iranian nuclear scientists

By Jean Shaoul, 30 July 2012

Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel’s Secret Wars states unequivocally that Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, assassinated five of Iran’s top scientists in that country’s nuclear programme.

Hundreds killed and wounded in Iraq bombings, ambushes

By Patrick Martin, 27 July 2012

Monday, July 23 was the bloodiest single day of sectarian fighting in Iraq in more than a year.

Netanyahu government in crisis over drafting orthodox Jews

By Jean Shaoul, 25 July 2012

Shaul Mofaz has pulled his Kadima party out of Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s coalition government over the Likud leader’s refusal to force Israel’s orthodox Jews to carry out military or some other form of national service.

Israel threatens Iran over Bulgarian bombing

By Peter Symonds, 21 July 2012

The real purpose behind Israel’s unsubstantiated denunciations of Tehran is to create the pretext for military strikes on Iran.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

20 July 2012

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US navy fires on fishing vessel in Persian Gulf

By Peter Symonds, 19 July 2012

The incident reflects the deliberate heightening of tensions in the region by the US as it prepares for war against Iran.

The self-immolation of Moshe Silman

By Chris Marsden, 19 July 2012

The self-immolation of Moshe Silman raises fundamental questions of political perspective before workers and youth in Israel and throughout the Middle East.

Israeli man immolates himself over social crisis

By Patrick Martin, 18 July 2012

Moshe Silman, 57, was comatose and in critical condition at a hospital in Tel Hashomer after setting himself on fire at a protest over homelessness and destitution.

Clinton renews military threat against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 17 July 2012

In recent months, the Pentagon has built up its forces in or near the Persian Gulf.

Cyprus the focus of escalating regional tensions

By Jordan Shilton, 14 July 2012

The government of Cyprus has indicated its intention to seek financial support from Russia, even as officials from the European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) determine the requirements of a potential bailout.

Palestinian Authority to exhume Yasser Arafat’s body to test polonium murder claim

By Jean Shaoul, 6 July 2012

The Palestinian Authority has announced that it will exhume the body of Yasser Arafat, the president of the PA who died in a French hospital in November 2004.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

6 July 2012

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US-Iran confrontation enters dangerous new stage

By Peter Symonds, 5 July 2012

The Obama administration has declared that all options, including the military one, remain on the table if Tehran fails to bow to US demands.

US escalates military threat against Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 4 July 2012

The Obama administration has carried out a major buildup of military forces in the Persian Gulf as economic sanctions imposed by both the US and the European Union have sharply escalated tensions with Iran.

US expands military intervention into Yemen

By Will Morrow, 4 July 2012

What is being presented as an offensive against the local Al Qaeda affiliate is in reality an intervention to prop up the widely despised Yemeni regime.

US and EU impose crippling sanctions on Iran

By Peter Symonds, 2 July 2012

Together with harsh new US penalties, the EU oil embargo can only raise tensions in the Persian Gulf, heightening the danger of military conflict.

Saudi Arabia—a social tinderbox

By Jean Shaoul, 2 July 2012

No less than in any of the other countries in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is a social tinderbox.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

29 June 2012

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US-backed Bahrain regime upholds jail sentences for doctors and nurses

By Will Morrow, 28 June 2012

The medics were arrested during a wave of repression in March 2011 and sentenced to up to fifteen years in prison after they treated protesters wounded by security forces.

Israeli police arrest social protest movement leader and break up demonstrations

By Jean Shaoul, 27 June 2012

Israeli riot police have detained dozens of activists demanding social justice, after violently breaking up demonstrations.

US seeks casus belli

Downed Turkish jet pretext for new provocations against Syria

By Joseph Kishore, 26 June 2012

The major imperialist powers, led by the United States, have issued a series of bellicose statements after Syria shot down a Turkish war plane that had entered its airspace.

Washington’s hypocrisy over Russian arms in Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 23 June 2012

Western denunciations of Russia for sending back refurbished helicopters to Syria recall nothing so much as the old adage, “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

22 June 2012

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International talks on Iran’s nuclear program fail

By Peter Symonds, 21 June 2012

The Moscow summit broke up with no further talks planned between the major powers and Iran other than a low-level technical meeting in Istanbul.

Washington’s “democratic” hypocrisy: The cases of Egypt and Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 20 June 2012

The hypocrisy of US imperialism’s pretense of promoting democracy on the world arena is manifest in Washington’s markedly different reactions to the Iranian elections of 2009 and the recent military coup in Egypt.

Bleak prospects for talks on Iran’s nuclear program

By Peter Symonds, 16 June 2012

If negotiations fail, as appears likely, tensions will rapidly escalate with the imposition of harsh new sanctions on Iran and the heightened threat of a US or Israeli military attack.

Threat of war grows in the Caucasus

By Clara Weiss, 15 June 2012

In the southern Caucasus, where US interests collide with those of Russia and Iran, there is a growing danger of war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

15 June 2012

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New wave of sectarian violence in Iraq kills more than 70

By David Walsh, 14 June 2012

A series of bombs exploded in various parts of Iraq on Wednesday in the midst of Shi’ite pilgrims marking a major religious festival, killing more than 70 people.

US excludes China from Iran sanctions waiver

By Peter Symonds, 13 June 2012

The new sanctions form part of escalating US threats, including of military strikes, to force Iran to shut down key aspects of its nuclear program.

Cyprus prepares for euro bailout

By Markus Salzmann, 13 June 2012

Cyprus is set to be the fifth of the 17 euro area countries to apply for money from the European bailout fund.

IAEA talks on Iran’s nuclear program collapse

By Peter Symonds, 11 June 2012

The failure of the International Atomic Energy Agency talks sets the stage for a breakdown of the broader international negotiations next week in Moscow.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

8 June 2012

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Growing tensions between Iran and Azerbaijan

By Clara Weiss, 5 June 2012

The reason for strained relations is Azerbaijan’s close collaboration with the United States and Israel in war preparations against Iran.

Obama oversees cyber warfare against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 4 June 2012

The cyber attacks were acts of sabotage that destroyed uranium enrichment centrifuges and forced Iranian technicians to shut down many more.

Conflict over Syria threatens Lebanon’s stability

By Jean Shaoul, 4 June 2012

Lebanon’s government despatched troops to Tripoli, the Libyan capital, after sectarian clashes killed 10 on Saturday.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

1 June 2012

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Washington Post airs another unlikely Iranian assassination plot

By Peter Symonds, 31 May 2012

The article, which claims US officials in Azerbaijan were targetted by Iran, is another attempt to blacken Tehran as new sanctions and war loom.

Tensions with Iran rise after failed Baghdad talks

By Peter Symonds, 29 May 2012

The Baghdad meeting last week broke up without any agreement other than a decision to hold a further round of talks next month in Moscow.

Israel’s ruling Likud party incites racist attacks on migrants

By Jean Shaoul, 28 May 2012

Racist attacks injured dozens of asylum seekers, following a rally where leading members of the ruling Likud party made inflammatory remarks against African migrants.

Iranian nuclear talks on brink of collapse

By Peter Symonds, 25 May 2012

Two days of negotiations in Baghdad between Iran and the major powers were only salvaged through a last minute proposal for another meeting in Moscow next month.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

25 May 2012

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Baghdad talks on Iran’s nuclear program unresolved

By Peter Symonds, 24 May 2012

Sharp differences emerged after the US and its allies unveiled proposals requiring major concessions by Iran, but offering little in return.

Palestinian hunger strike ended after Egypt’s intervention

By Jean Shaoul, 23 May 2012

Palestinian prisoners have accepted a deal brokered by Egypt to end their hunger strike in protest against Israel’s use of detention without charge or trial and the inhuman conditions they face in jail.

Gulf monarchies and US foment sectarian clashes in Lebanon

By Jean Shaoul, 18 May 2012

Several days of clashes in and around Tripoli between Sunni Islamists and Alawites have left 10 people dead, 50 wounded and several kidnapped.