Middle East

Tony Blair poses for a photograph following a Bloomberg Television interview on the opening day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 21, 2015.

Tony Blair’s new job shows how self-important and detached he has become

4 June 2015 17:49

A spectre is haunting the world: the spectre of Tony Blair’s ego. Mr Blair has wasted eight years pretending to solve the problems of the Middle East. He has also… Continue reading

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US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman (Photo: Valentin Flauraud/Getty)

Military inspections must be a non-negotiable part of Iran’s nuclear deal

29 May 2015 16:00

It is probably safe to say that the negotiations with Iran aren’t going very well. As the 30 June deadline for a final agreement looms America’s top negotiator Wendy Sherman has… Continue reading

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A symbol of peace? (Photo: Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty)

Tony Blair has long been an irrelevance in the Middle East peace process

28 May 2015 11:52

Following months of speculation, Tony Blair has finally announced he is standing down as the Quartet Representative to the Middle East after eight years in the post. It is tempting to… Continue reading

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a press conference in Tehran on April 3, 2015 (Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty)

The Iran deal heralds a new era for US policy across the Middle East

8 April 2015 11:12

What is it about a nuclear deal with Iran that induces hysteria in certain quarters of the West?  In recent weeks, editors at both the New York Times and the Washington Post have seen… Continue reading

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Demonstrators in Taez, Yemen. Image: Getty

The last thing Yemen needs is more war. But that is what it’s getting

1 April 2015 17:36

After years of hearing how terrible Western interventions are in the Middle East (Exhibits A, B and C the fiascos of Iraq, Afghanistan and post-Gaddafi Libya), it will be interesting… Continue reading

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Roland Jahn New Stasi Archives Head

Yes, torture can be justified. Here’s why

10 December 2014 16:44

Torture is repulsive. Even on the scaffold or in front of a firing squad, a man can meet death with dignity. The torturer sets out to strip his victim of… Continue reading

254 Comments
Image: Getty

How the US shale gas industry has changed the global economy

1 December 2014 11:44

The year 2014 will be remembered for an unprecedented juxtaposition of events. Two oil-producing countries in the Middle East were in a state of crisis. Relations between the West and… Continue reading

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(Photo: JM Lopez/AFP/Getty)

The US steps up its involvement in the war for Iraq

8 November 2014 17:40

If you want to know how serious the situation in Iraq with Islamic State is, just look at what the Americans are doing. President Obama, who made his political name… Continue reading

50 Comments
Tunisians queue outside a polling station on October 26 in the Tunis suburb of Ariana (Photo: AFP/Getty)

Postcard from Tunisa – voters reject Islamists, embrace sanity in cradle of Arab Spring

28 October 2014 15:06

Tunis A bloody two-day siege at a house in the outskirts of the capital last week didn’t augur well for Tunisia’s landmark elections. Six suspected jihadists, including five women, and… Continue reading

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Two Syrian Kurds looking out from Mursitpinar, Turkey, across the border to Syria  (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Fear, loathing and an Ottoman shrine in the cold war between Isis and Turkey

27 October 2014 16:04

Turkey and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis) are engaged in a cold war. Although they despise each other, they will avoid direct engagement, for fear of the… Continue reading

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Iraq and Syria are lost causes: Western intervention can’t help – or can it?

24 October 2014 18:05

Iraq and Syria are lost causes: Western intervention can’t help. Well, at least that was the motion put forward on Wednesday evening at a Spectator debate, in association with Brewin… Continue reading

64 Comments
Iraqi boys playing in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah on January 10, 2013 (Photo: AFP/Getty)

Winter is coming – the other terror stalking Iraqi Kurds

19 October 2014 11:51

The heroic Kurdish resistance in Kobane rightly commands headlines. A larger disaster, however, looms in Iraqi Kurdistan where – absent urgent action by the UN and Iraq – thousands of… Continue reading

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ISIS are a scourge on humanity; the UK must play its part in confronting this horror

26 September 2014 12:01

Doing nothing is always an option. Sometimes it can even be a sensible policy. There is much to be said for modesty and restraint and an awareness that unforeseen consequences lurk… Continue reading

42 Comments
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Four-wheel-drives are to ISIS what longbows were to the English at Agincourt

12 September 2014 14:37

What exactly, I found myself wondering, would jihadists do without modern four-wheel-drives? Car ads are customarily shot on the French Riviera’s Grande Corniche or on a very particular road in… Continue reading

23 Comments
IRAQ-UNREST

Britain abandons foreign policy. And abandons debates about foreign policy too.

19 August 2014 16:10

Cynics have long suspected that Britain’s foreign policy is as independent as its nuclear deterrent. Cynics have a point. Perhaps, as some suggest, it’s time to concede the game’s a… Continue reading

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cameron iraq plan

Video: Does Cameron have an Iraq policy? Or is he just making it up?

18 August 2014 15:43

The Prime Minister has returned from his holidays, and yesterday wrote an intriguing piece in the Sunday Telegraph about the ongoing struggles in Iraq and Syria. ‘True security will only be… Continue reading

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Video: Should Parliament be recalled over Iraq and ISIS?

11 August 2014 13:29

Neither Obama nor Cameron seem ready to return from their holidays to debate how best to respond to the events in Iraq. However, in our look at the week ahead,… Continue reading

17 Comments
T.E. Lawrence's vision of Arabia.

What has Hezbollah’s Secretary General been reading this summer?

8 August 2014 18:09

In Britain we seem to be obsessed by what our politicians are reading this summer. It tells us, so we think, about the way they’re thinking or perhaps just what… Continue reading

44 Comments
Cameron and Warsi

Baroness Warsi was over-promoted, incapable and incompetent

5 August 2014 11:57

Farewell then Sayeeda, Baroness Warsi. The most over-promoted, incapable and incompetent minister of recent times has finally done the nation one service and resigned. This morning she announced on Twitter that… Continue reading

747 Comments
Tony Blair Promotes The Chinese Translation Of His Autobiography

Look where Tony Blair’s messianic fervour has left us

31 July 2014 19:13

While trawling down the Mail Online’s right-hand-side of the page porno strip, to consider analytically the latest photographs of Jessica Alba in a swimming costume, I came across a rather… Continue reading

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Watch: Douglas Murray and Ben Soffa from Palestinian Solidarity Campaign discuss anti-Semitism

30 July 2014 19:16

In this week’s Spectator, Melanie Phillips suggests that anti-Semitism is on the rise, fueled by the events in the Middle East. Douglas Murray and Ben Soffa, Secretary of the Palestine… Continue reading

525 Comments
Moeen Ali. (Image: Getty)

Moeen Ali reminds us that sometimes sport is the only place for politics

29 July 2014 18:46

Moeen Ali, the England cricketer, faces a possible reprimand after the International Cricket Council (ICC), the game’s governing body, censured him for wearing two wristbands, one saying ‘Save Gaza’, the other… Continue reading

114 Comments
Iraqis holds up a banner which reads in Arabic 'We are Christians and not Nazarethans, and we are proud of our religion', during a demonstration on July 24, 2014, against the threat imposed by ISIS. (Image: SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)

In Iraq, ancient Christianity lies in ruins. But who cares?

28 July 2014 16:44

The Mar Behnam monastery outside Mosul, seized by ISIS just over a week ago, bears an inscription in the Turkic language of the Mongols who invaded Iraq in the 13th… Continue reading

153 Comments
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Morning review: Could British infrastructure cope with fracking?

28 July 2014 12:28

In this week’s View from 22 Morning Review, Mary Wakefield, James Forsyth and David Blackburn discuss the weekend’s main stories. What can we do about the turmoil in the Middle… Continue reading

16 Comments
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Hopeless in Gaza; Israel’s tragically futile war

22 July 2014 12:05

Travelling back from holiday yesterday we had Jeremy Vine’s show on the car radio and the Radio 2 man was talking about the fighting in Gaza and as is often… Continue reading

193 Comments