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WHAT WE DO
While there are now more than 500 Arabic and Persian language news outlets reporting stories from and about the Middle East, there is currently no affordable means for English speakers to gain access to much of this content. As a result, the overwhelming majority of English speaking businesspersons, students, journalists and others who have an interest in the affairs of the region are largely unaware of what the Middle East media is covering and how they are covering these stories.

Mideastwire.com aims to close this gap by offering a daily email newsletter of concise, translated briefs covering some of the key political, cultural, economic and opinion pieces appearing in the media of the 22 Arab countries, Iran and the Arab Diaspora. Through this effort, we hope to address at least one element of a global disconnect that continues to threaten a wide spectrum of socio-political and economic relationships, both here in the region and beyond.
TODAY’S DAILY BRIEFING
22-Jul-2016
Iran
Opinion
"Do not let DA'ISH creep into Iran!"  (Keyhan, Iran)   
Military Defense - Terrorism - USA EU
On July 2, an editorial by Hoseyn Shariatmadari in the conservative Keyhan said: "1. Before discussing the main topic, it is necessary to emphasize that what you will be reading in this article is "a serious warning" about a danger that could be calamitous for all the people of Iran. Therefore, it is expected of the respectable president to study the issue and its dimensions, to ignore the blackmail and commotion of one person or another, and to assess the issue based on evidence. It is necessary to emphasize this since a contaminated current with a bad record insists in coordination with the other side of the ocean on attributing any well-intended criticism and compassionate warning to opposition with the administration and is using this ploy to undermine any reviews and solutions. Meanwhile, the wisest way will be an independent and documented review of the issue, especially when important and critical issues such as the rival's plans to open the way for DA'ISH terrorists to our country are involved… (Read More)
Politics
"Jannati's Favourite Man Returns"  (Shargh, Iran)   
Democracy and Party Politics
On July 14, the reformist Shargh reported: "Three jurists of the Guardian Council were elected on 13 July with meaningful votes at the public hall of Baharestan. Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei, the former Guardian Council jurist, known among the members as the one who has the closest relation with Ayatollah Jannati, could obtain his former position beside Jannati after three years away from the Council with an absolute majority of votes -- he outvoted his rival with 25 more votes. The gap between the number of votes encountered enormous reactions; many social networks users pointed out in their comments that Kadkhodaei could not gain sufficient votes from the ninth Principle-ist Majlis... [ellipses as published], why he could obtain an absolute majority of votes from the Majlis with a committee of a high number of Reformist members and took his way towards the Guardian Council. Following this election, one of the Raja News editors, in his Twitter feed, congratulated Ayatollah Jannati on Kadkhodaie's election and thanked Dr. Aref and the Hope splinter group for the votes… (Read More)
"President's Special Aide: 'They Aim At 1396 Elections Using Payslips As Pretext'"  (Shargh, Iran)
Corruption - Democracy and Party Politics
On July 19, the reformist newspaper Shargh reported: "The issue of payslips, and the related follow ups and confrontations by the government and supervisory bodies -- which Naser Seraj, the head of the State Inspectorate Organisation, has talked about, and what Ali Yunesi, the president's special aide has mentioned about the payslips being used to distort the government's image -- continue. But except these two, Ayatollah Amoli-Larijani, the Judiciary chief, also pointed out the issue of the extortionate payslips at a meeting with senior Judiciary officials on 18 July. Emphasizing the need for coordination among the three branches of power on this issue, he said: "Based on its responsibility, the Judiciary confronts such criminal acts. And assets gained illegally should be returned to public treasury." According to Mizan, he said: "We should not do anything to expand the scope of the violations of the law by certain ma! nagers to all pure and hardworking managers." Announcing that "we have not had any such cases within the Judiciary," he said: "One should talk about the issue of non-standard salaries carefully. And we should not say that all the branches of power are involved." He emphasized: "So far we have not received any reports on non-standard salaries in the Judiciary."… (Read More)
Iraq
Politics
“...Saraya as-Sadr insist on targeting US forces”  (Okaz, Saudi Arabia)
Military Defense - USA EU
On July 22, the pro-monarchy Okaz newspaper carried the following report from Baghdad: “Iraqi sources revealed that the attempts deployed by the US Embassy in Baghdad to meet with leader of the Sadrist Movement Muqtada as-Sadr had failed, saying in statements to Okaz that mediators from the Iraqi parliament tried to convince Muqtada as-Sadr to meet with the US ambassador, but that he refused to see any American figure and reiterated his position towards the Americans. The embassy’s attempt to arrange a meeting between the ambassador and As-Sadr emerged following direct threats made by the Sadrist Movement to target the US troops, after Washington decided last week to send 500 additional soldiers to Iraq. After the US embassy’s effort failed, the Sadrist Movement-affiliated Saraya as-Salam [the Peace Brigades], insisted on targeting the troops which Washington intends to send to Iraq… (Read More)
“Maliki’s Coalition to the government: Stop “condemning” Saudi interference, we want actions”  (Website, Middle East)
Arab Diplomacy
On July 20, the Ayn al-Iraq News website carried the following report from Baghdad: “On Wednesday, the Nouri al-Maliki-led State of Law Coalition called on the Iraqi government to stop issuing statements condemning the “blatant” Saudi interference in Iraq’s internal affairs, indicating that these statements have been issued since 2006 without them achieving anything. It thus insisted that the government should file an official international complaint against Saudi Arabia, due to its support of terrorism. At this level, Deputy Awatef Nehme from the Coalition said to Ayn al-Iraq News that “because of the Iraqi government’s silence, and because it is not serious about deterring Saudi interference, the Kingdom has started to interfere in Iraqi affairs in a greater and wider way,” assuring that “the call made by the Saudi foreign minister to annul the death sentence comes in defense of the Saudi-backed terrorists… (Read More)
“Al-Quds al-Arabi in stronghold of Turkish Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Qandil Mountains...”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom)   
Military Defense
On July 22, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report by its correspondent in Sulaymaniyah Mustafa al-Obeidi: “... In the Qandil Mountains in Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq, Al-Quds al-Arabi met with Official Spokesman and Foreign Relations Chief of the Turkish Kurdistan Workers Party Haval Serhed, who assured that the failed military coup in Turkey was not the first, rather the second, and was preceded by another. He indicated that Erdogan’s regime had carried out a political coup before the military one staged by his former companions, continuing: “We had warned Erdogan that the non-achievement of peace with the movement will lead to a coup, and told him that coups and internal wars did not serve anyone...” He mentioned that all the deals made by Erdogan with the army and the Turkish political groups had failed, and that there were problems and disputes inside his party… (Read More)
Israel
Opinion
“Israel’s new friends”  (An-Nahar, Lebanon)
On July 22, the An-Nahar daily newspaper carried the following piece by Randa Haidar: “As the Arab world and the regional countries are drowning in the nightmare of the civil wars, civil divisions, military coups, and the terrorism of the Jihadist radical movements, Israel is working on constructing new strategic alliances in and outside the region. One of the main steps carried out by Benjamin Netanyahu in this direction consists of the reconciliation agreement with Turkey as well as his tour, early this month in four African countries and the summit that he held with a number of African leaders there where he announced the launching of a new phase of relations with Africa… (Read More)
Lebanon
Politics
“American official: we will prevent Hezbollah from participating in any upcoming government”  (Ad-Diyyar, Lebanon)
Financial Markets - USA EU
On July 22, the Ad-Diyyar daily newspaper carried the following report by Abbas Saleh: “When the Lebanese banks’ crisis broke during the banks’ clash with Hezbollah and during the visit of a prominent delegation from the Lebanese Banks’ Association to the USA, one member of the delegation told the American officials that they met with during their tours that the American Administration should pressure Hezbollah without shoving the banks into this already lost battle considering that this battle resembles a “game with the lions” and because the members of the Lebanese Banks’ Association especially the wise ones are not eager at all for these painful “Don Quixotian” actions. He concluded by saying that this is an unequal battle where we have been thrusted by the people with hot heads and massive ambitions while we have no ability to deal with it… (Read More)
“With whom will Russia side: Aoun or Frangieh?”  (Website, Middle East)   
Democracy and Party Politics
On July 22, the privately-owned Lebanese En-Nashra news website carried the following exclusive report by Abbas Daher: “... During the last two weeks, diplomatic meetings were held at the [Russian] Foreign Ministry with Russia’s ambassadors in the world’s capitals. The discussions tackled all the developments, though during the meeting with the Middle Eastern ambassadors, the Ministry seemed interested in Lebanon. Hence, the officials inquired about the developments in detail from their Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin, and supported his policy of openness to all powers to ensure that Russia has no problems with any side. Afterwards, Zasypkin headed to Moscow’s suburbs, where thick forests and rivers are widely spread, to spend his summer vacation with his family. Still, he did not totally neglect the Lebanese developments… (Read More)
“Aounists rebelling against Aounists”  (Website, Middle East)   
Democracy and Party Politics
On July 22, the electronic Al-Modon daily newspaper carried the following report by Mahmoud Birri: “An Aounist who is well-informed but who can do nothing to push back what he deems the upcoming fate told me: “The phenomenon is on its way to dismantlement. The people will be saying that the [Free Patriotic] movement was an exceptional political phenomenon, one that has come to an end.” He added, with a feeling of anger and sorrow: “I hope that the General will be gone by then.” The man claims that the beginning of the end was announced through some simple prefaces that will lead to a major uprising, and that the practical reflection consists of the behavior of the movement’s head, Gibran Bassil, who has been causing problems anywhere he goes… (Read More)
Morocco
Opinion
"The voice of reason is absent"  (Akhbar al-Yawm, Egypt)
Governmental Reform
On July 21, an editorial by Taoufik Bouachrine in the daily Akhbar al-Youm said: "There is no tradition in Moroccan politics permitting an objective assessment of the performance of successive governments. Before the 2011 Constitution, Morocco had no government in the precise sense of the term. The Palace had the first and last word about what has been achieved and what has not, and ministers were like senior civil servants competing on carrying out decisions. The rest was just taking care of current affairs and the best minister had the rank of counsellor and sometimes he was not even asked for his opinion. At a ministerial council held under the chairmanship of King Hassan II, a former prime minister, Ahmed Osman said: Morocco is badly governed, and King Hassan II then quickly replied to him saying that Morocco is badly managed!… (Read More)
Palestine
Politics
“Alloul to Quds Arabi: Fatah has launched preparations for elections...”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom)   
Democracy and Party Politics
On July 22, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report by its correspondent in Gaza Ashraf al-Hawr: “Fatah Central Committee Member Mahmoud Alloul announced in statements to Al-Quds al-Arabi his Movement’s launching of preparations to participate in the local elections that should be held on October 8..., especially after Hamas also decided to participate in them and run in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. He said that the Movement formed a higher committee to supervise the process, tasked to study and follow up on the situation with the Palestinian government and the central elections committee. He added that subcommittees were also formed in all the regions, including regional leaders and organizational and social competencies. And these committees will present their recommendations surrounding the lists and candidates to high electoral commission… (Read More)
Syria
Opinion
“With slaughtering of Palestinian child in Aleppo, no justification for revolutions and oppositions”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom)
Human Rights - Media - USA EU
On July 22, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following lead editorial: “The Syrian and Arab social media websites were filled with condemnations and comments on the killing of Palestinian child Abdullah Issa (12 years old) by the elements of a Syrian opposition military organization called the Nour ad-Din az-Zenki Movement, on charges of cooperation with the Syrian regular army. The main political body of the Syrian opposition (the Coalition) also condemned the crime, while the aforementioned military movement apologized for its horrific act, even announced the arrest of the perpetrators. And its last justification was that the victim was not Palestinian and not a child, rather a 19-year-old man. However, the condemnations and apologies do not change what happened, or acquit the military movement and the Syrian opposition itself… (Read More)
Politics
On the relationship between Washington, An-Nusra Front  (As-Safir, Lebanon)
Terrorism - USA EU
On July 22, the independent, leftist As-Safir daily newspaper carried the following report: “There are no serious signs indicating that the USA has modified its stand regarding An-Nusra Front and that it is now willing to launch a war against the Front as it did with ISIL. Even the content of the draft agreement that the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry ran by the Kremlin last week includes no sign to an imminent change. The complicated and almost impossible conditions laid out in the draft agreement in return for Washington’s approval to engage with Russia in fighting ISIL and An-Nusra…mean that there are no indications to a major change in the position of the U.S. Administration vis-à-vis An-Nusra Front… (Read More)
Turkey
Politics
“Did Europe bet on the success of the Turkish coup?”  (As-Safir, Lebanon)
Military Defense - Unrest - USA EU
On July 22, the independent, leftist As-Safir daily newspaper carried the following report by Wassim Ibrahim: “Europe has every reason to worry about the developments in Turkey, which supports the speculations indicating that Europe was not sitting on the spectators’ seats during the failed coup. If there’s something that is hard to guess now, it is the form of the Authority that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is now re-forming. A wide purge is taking place under the emergency state… Weakening Erdogan is certainly in Erdogan’s interest. However, the opportunity was wasted with the abortion of the coup. Nothing is certain anymore pending the Erdogan that will emerge following the violent labor that has just been started… (Read More)
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