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November 10, 2017

Saudi Arabia orders citizens to leave Lebanon as tensions rise

Order raises fears that regional power battle between Saudi Arabia and Iran may be building towards military confrontation

Saudi Arabia has ordered its citizens to leave Lebanon immediately, escalating a regional standoff with Iran centred on the fragile state, which it claims is being run by Tehran’s proxy, Hezbollah.

The move follows a week of bellicose rhetoric from the Sunni Arab powerhouse about its Shia rival, drawing strong support from Donald Trump and Israel, all three of whom insist Iran is forging strongholds across the region.

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November 4, 2017

Lebanon’s PM quits over Iran tensions and concern for his safety

Saad Hariri quits in speech televised from Saudi Arabia, citing Iranian influence in region and saying he fears assassination

Saad Hariri has unexpectedly resigned as Lebanon’s prime minister, citing Iranian influence across the region and claiming he feared the same fate as his assassinated father if he remained leader.

In a speech delivered from the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Saturday, Hariri blindsided both his government and staff in Beirut, bringing a dramatic end to an 11-month government that had largely failed to impose authority on a parliament split along regional lines, or on an economy weighed down by debt and corruption.

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October 14, 2017

‘He is failing’: Trump strikes out solo as friends worry and enemies circle

As a report says he hates ‘everybody at the White House’, the president has taken his own radical steps on Iran and healthcare

Donald Trump’s decision to go it alone with rapid fire announcements on healthcare and Iran reflects his boiling frustration with the limits of presidential power, analysts say.

The US president made a brazen move on Thursday night to

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July 16, 2017

Hossein Fereidoun, brother of Iran’s president, arrested

Hassan Rouhani’s supporters see his brother’s arrest as part of efforts to undermine him during his second term in office

The brother of Iran’s moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, has been arrested amid escalating tensions between the government and the country’s hardline judiciary ahead of his swearing-in ceremony next month.

Hossein Fereidoun, a top presidential aide who played a senior role in more than two years of high-level negotiations between Iran and the west over Tehran’s nuclear programme, was taken to prison after failing to secure bail on Saturday, local agencies reported.

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