US-Iran tensions may increase this summer

The talks – mediated by the European Union and held in Doha, Qatar – were the latest hope of both sides coming to an agreement as tensions rise over Iran’s nuclear program.

But as talks falter, Iran inches close the amount of enriched uranium needed to make an atomic bomb, and reduces cooperation With the nuclear watchdog of the United Nations, increasing the chances of resorting to military options to curb the nuclear capabilities of its adversaries.
spoke with CNN Ali WaizuIran project director at Crisis Group, a think tank in Washington, DC, talks about what could happen next.

Since the talks ended with no progress, how likely are they going to go ahead and what will it look like?

One thing is certain: the “no deal, no crisis” dynamic is not sustainable. With so much friction between Iran, the US, and their respective regional allies, there is much room for deliberate or unintended escalation that could spiral out of control. All of this is likely to change in the summer of 2022 [into one that is] Similar to the summer of 2019, when tensions mounted in the form of tighter sanctions and strikes international shipping lanes And infrastructure of gulf arab statesBringing Tehran and Washington closer to open conflict several times over the course of a few months.
Now the only difference is because of the ongoing dialogue between Iran and Saudi ArabiaAs well as the United Arab Emirates, the field of competition is likely to move to the Levant.

Does the lack of progress in Doha mean the deal is dead?

Not necessarily. Failure in this phase could turn diplomacy with Iran into a zombie process for the time being. Both sides will return home and are likely to engage in mutual escalation in the hope that the other side will eventually blink first. But as we get closer mid term congress election, the Biden administration’s appetite for a deal may be waning. The problem is that Democrats are obliged lose control of Congress in November, which in turn is supposed to pique Iran’s interest in tackling a lame duck administration that no longer controls Congress.

what happens next?

The Iranians are likely to decide to postpone the deal until the next US [presidential election in 2024], with their leverage intact. But Iranians have their own presidential election in 2025 and will have to wait for that election result. By that time, the deal will expire and the parties will have to negotiate anew, which is likely to take a few years.

As such, the options are not between now or six months from now, but between now or six years from now. And given how close Iran is to a nuclear weapon already, the status quo is not sustainable. Sooner or later, Israel is likely to either encourage the US to take or take military action to set back Iran’s nuclear program, potentially triggering a devastating regional conflict.

What is the status of talks since March and what is the reason for the two sides meeting in Doha?

Over the past few weeks, the EU’s chief negotiator, Enrique Mora, has been sifting messages back and forth between Tehran and Washington to find a mutually acceptable thread. But long-distance diplomacy has proved slow and ineffective.

With growing concerns about Iran’s nuclear program in the West and Israel and Iran’s deteriorating economic situation under sanctions, both sides were encouraged to return to the negotiating table. The EU concluded that it would be more efficient to facilitate closer talks with both sides in the same city rather than on two different continents.

Is the fact that the latest round of talks took place in the Persian Gulf country?

This is important for two reasons: first, it shows how the regional context has changed since the nuclear deal was finalized in 2015. Again, apart from Oman, no other Gulf country was keen on the deal, which they mostly looked to as. Enriching and empowering a regional rival. Now, having lived through the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” policy toward Iran that put them on the line of fire between Iran and the US, most Gulf countries understand the de-escalatory value of a deal.

What geopolitical factors have changed since March, when the US and Iran last held indirect talks?

Of course, there is war in Ukraine everything is covered, On the one hand, it has undermined the urgency of nuclear talks and diverted the attention of Western policymakers; On the other hand, it has made Iran’s return to energy markets more valuable to the West.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

digestion

US says Israeli military shelling may have been responsible for Shirin Abu Akleh’s death, but investigation into shootings inconclusive

Investigation into the bullet that killed Al Jazeera correspondent Abu Aqlehcould not reach a definite conclusionwith regard to its origin, due to the position of the bullet, but the US Security Coordinator “concluded that the shelling [Israel Defense Forces] “The situation was responsible for his death,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement on Monday. The security coordinator, he said, “found no reason to believe that this was intentional, but rather the result of tragic circumstances during the IDF-led military campaign against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad factions.”
  • background: Palestinian Bullet handed over to US officials On Saturday, nearly two months after the killing of a Palestinian-American journalist in Jenin, the West Bank. The Palestinians refused to conduct a joint investigation with Israel, saying they did not trust Israel, but eventually provided bullets to US officials over the weekend.
  • why it matters: Israel and the Palestinians have been at a standoff over the investigation since he died of a bullet to the head on May 11. Investigation by at least five media outlets including CNN It is suggested that the bullet was fired from the spot where the IDF soldiers were located. None of the investigations found any evidence of Palestinian militants near Abu Aqleh when he was shot, or of terrorists who had direct fire. The United Nations Human Rights Office’s investigation came to the same conclusion as a journalistic investigation.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah says drones sent towards Israeli gas rig in disputed waters

The group said in a statement to CNN that Hezbollah claimed responsibility on Saturday for launching three unarmed drones toward an oil field in an area in the Mediterranean that is disputed between Lebanon and Israel. Israel’s military said on Saturday that the drones were shot down, and were launched from Lebanon and flew in the direction of the Karish gas field.

  • background: Hezbollah said the drones were on a “reconnaissance mission” and “the message was delivered.” The IDF described the drones as hostile but said “preliminary investigations suggest they did not pose an imminent threat.” The IDF said an F-16 fighter jet and a missile ship intercepted the drone.
  • why it matters, Lebanon and Israel are in the middle of indirect talks Where is a maritime economic border located between countries in the oil-rich part of the Mediterranean Sea. In recent days, Hezbollah has warned that if Israel does not take back the ship, it may attack an Israeli ship that has moved to the disputed area amid talks.

Ukrainian official says Ukraine urges Turkey to ‘detain’ Russian-flagged ship carrying its grain

Ukraine has requested that Turkish authorities detain a Russian-flagged ship carrying Ukrainian grain, the country’s ambassador to Turkey, Vasil Bodnar, told CNN on Saturday.

  • backgroundThe Zybek Zoli ship is currently at anchor near the Turkish port of Karasu because “it was actually detained by Turkish customs officials and is not allowed to enter the port,” Bondar said. “Now we are waiting for the decision of the relevant Turkish authorities regarding the actions that the law enforcement agencies of Ukraine insist on,” he said. Turkey’s trade ministry did not respond to CNN’s request for confirmation that the ship had been detained. According to ship tracking website Marine Traffic, the cargo ship departed the Russian port of Novorossiysk on June 22 and spent nearly a week at sea between Ukraine and Russia.
  • why it mattersUkraine has repeatedly said that Russia hundreds of thousands of tons stolen of grain since the beginning of the war. The United Nations has said Russia’s blockade of Ukraine’s ports has already raised global food prices and threatens catastrophic food shortages in some parts of the world. Russia has repeatedly denied that it is blocking ports and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has accused Russia of stealing grain from its neighbor as “fake news.”

what to see

There were three women from Egypt to the Jordan brutally killed Just a few days apart, in three different Middle Eastern countries. CNN’s Becky Anderson examines the gender-based violence epidemic in the Arab world as well as the societal and shortcomings hindering the proper protection of women.

View full report here.

79%

Turkey’s annual inflation hit a 24-year high of 78.62% in June, driven by the effects of the Ukraine war, rising commodity prices and the fall in the lira since the December crisis.

around the area

Eleven billion plastic bags are used in the United Arab Emirates every year. This equates to 1,182 bags per person per year – significantly higher than the global average of 307 bags per person annually.

The nation of 10 million is now trying to change that. This weekend, business and entertainment hub Dubai tightened rules around the use of plastic bags by introducing a 25 fils ($0.07) tariff on all single-use bags.

UAE, which is gearing up to host COP28 Climate Summit In 2023, the goal is to end the use of single-use bags by 2024.

Dubai’s move comes just a month after the country’s capital Abu Dhabi banned all single-use plastic bags – the first in the Middle East to do so. Unlike Dubai, Abu Dhabi has encouraged the public not through tariffs but through a complete ban.

Emirates has given retailers a grace period of four months to comply with the rules.

“It’s good, Europe and America are doing the same thing,” Faiz, a Dubai supermarket employee, told CNN.

Dubai’s tariff applies to all single-use bags with a thickness of 57 micrometers or less.

by Ghazi Nasser

photo of the Day