08192018Sun

Trump and Putin

Iran Focus

London, 17 August - Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are reported to have “agreed in principle” that Iranian forces should leave Syria, during their meeting in Helsinki last month.

A US official in the Trump administration spoke to Bloomberg on condition of anonymity about the closed-door meeting in July and explained that both parties agreed about the need for forces from the Iranian military and militias back by Iran to leave the war-torn nation.

Iran’s interference in Iraq facilitated by presence of ISIS

Iran Focus

London, 17 August - The political situation in Iraq has degraded once again and the Iran is meddling and taking advantage of the turmoil. Again.

The Islamic State group is back and picking up pace. There are thousands of active militants in the country and in Syria. The United States Defense Department believes that there are around thirty thousand Islamic State fighters. This is not far off the number of fighters that it had during its peak three years ago.

The situation in Iran causes Afghans to return home

Iran Focus

London, 2 August - The economic, political, and social situation in Iran is getting so bad that even Afghan refugees and migrants that have been in Iran for over a decade are returning to their war-ravaged homeland.

Iran’s economy has been in freefall for quite a while thanks to the corruption of the mullahs, but this has been exacerbated by the new tough US policy on Iran. Now the value of the Iranian currency (rial) is falling fast, while inflation and unemployment are on the rise. This has hit Afghan migrants particularly hard as work in the grey economy, where most of them work, has declined sharply.

Iranian Influence in Iraq Undermined after Tehran Turns off Electric Supply

Iran Focus

London, 3 August - Power shortages in Iraq, a country wrecked by a series of conflicts that have devastated its infrastructure, have forced Iraqis to buy electricity from private entrepreneurs who run power generators that can be seen on most street corners. Those who can afford it, pay an average of 125,00 dinars (approximately $100) a month, but for many poor and working-class Iraqis, buying electricity is not an option.

The problem was exacerbated earlier this month after Iran stopped supplying electricity to Iraq because of unpaid bills. Protests over the shortages, lack of jobs and services, and corruption have since rocked areas the country.

The US’s military base near to southern Syria’s al-Tanf border crossing

Iran Focus

London, 27 July - The US’s military base near to southern Syria’s al-Tanf border crossing may have been set up to train local Syrians to fight ISIS militants, but it also provides an effective counterweight to Iran’s malign activities in the region.

Army Major Josh Jacques, a spokesman for US Central Command (CENTCOM), said: “Our mere presence there accomplishes that, whether it’s a goal or not.”

Even though the US military is primarily focused on training a Syrian group called Maghawir al-Thawra (MaT) to defeat ISIS, CENTCOM commander US Army General Joseph Votel reports that the American presence indirectly impedes Iran’s “destabilizing acts” in the nation.

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