Iran’s SCO membership is a big deal

21 September 2021 — Indian Punchline

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi (R) participated in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Dushanbe on Sept 16-17, 2021

Like in a Wagnerian music drama, there is an associated melodic theme that accompanies the situations behind the two big regional developments last week — the announcement of the AUKUS, security alliance of three “maritime democracies” on September 15 and Iran’s accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as full member on September 17.

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Reflections on Events in Afghanistan-20

19 September 2021 — Indian Punchline

Iran’s then-Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (R) welcoming Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (C), Tehran, Jan. 31, 2021

20. Iran takes good look at Taliban rulers

Some strongly worded statements from Iran deploring the clashes in Panjshir Valley created a perception that Tehran might be distancing itself from the Taliban government. Of course, Tehran is vociferously urging the formation of an ‘inclusive government’ in Kabul.

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Biden Doctrine appears in Persian Gulf

13 September 2021 — Indian Punchline

M. K. BHADRAKUMAR

Iran’s Vice-President & head of the Atomic Energy Organization Mohammad Eslami (second from right) met International Atomic Energy Agency director general Rafael Grossi, Tehran, Sept 12, 2021

The incipient signs of a US retrenchment from Saudi Arabia have appeared in a series of moves in the past 2-3 weeks. On a parallel track, the Biden Administration is factoring in that new Iranian government is returning to the negotiating table at Vienna on nuclear issues.

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Russia, China circle the wagons. Iran is in it

15 August 2021 — Indian Punchline

10000 troops from PLA’s Western Theatre Command and Russia’s Eastern Military District wrapped up Zapad/Interaction-2021 exercises in Ningxia region, east of Xinjiang, August 13, 2021

The Tehran Times reported on Wednesday that Moscow has conveyed to Tehran that the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) has reached a consensus on Iran’s admission as a full member of the grouping.

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A new dawn breaks in Tehran

5 August 2021 — Indian Punchline

by M. K. BHADRAKUMAR

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (L) during the inauguration ceremony for Ebrahim Raisi (R) as president, Tehran, August 3, 2021

On Thursday, Iran’s new president Ebrahim Raisi takes the oath of office in a ceremony in the Majlis in Tehran. This will be a defining moment in the Islamic Republic’s political history, since in many ways, the country is at the crossroads.

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Biden’s Iran Policy Is Already At A Dead End

29 June 2021 — Moon of Alabama

On Sunday the U.S.bombed three positions of Iraqi Popular Mobilization Force at the Syrian-Iraqi border.

The U.S. had no right to do such. The legal reasoning the Biden administration provided for the attack is nonsense. As is the claimed rational of establishing ‘deterrence’ against further attacks on U.S. troops by this or that Iraqi militia group. The last strike in that area in February was supposed to have fullilled the same purpose but obvious did not deter anything. Sunday’s strike was immediately responded to with missiles fired against a U.S. position in Syria. More such incidents will follow.

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US’ pathway to Iran has thorny shrubs

22 June 2021 — Indian Punchline

by M. K. BHADRAKUMAR

Iran’s president-elect Ebrahim Raisi addresses his first press conference in Tehran, June 21, 2021

It is painful to read the US reports commenting on the result of Iran’s presidential  election. The New York Times carried a blurb on Monday, “Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s ultraconservative president-elect, said that he would not meet with President Biden, and that Tehran’s position on its ballistic missile program was “nonnegotiable.”

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How India lost its way in Persian Gulf

19 May 2021 — Indian Punchline

M.K. Bhadrakumar

India gets booted out of Farzad-B gas field in Persian Gulf.

There have been two successive setbacks in the past one-year period to the India-Iran relationship. India has been literally eased out of two strategically important projects in Iran that were full of promise to uplift the ties in a medium and long term perspective.

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Saudi-Iran reset will take time

11 May 2021 — Indian Punchline

M.K. Bhadrakumar

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (R) received Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (L), Jeddah, May 11, 2021

The Saudi-Iranian contacts that began last month in secrecy has gained gravitas. The unannounced trip to Jeddah last night by the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and the exceptional courtesies he received, with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman greeting him at the airport, calls attention to the winds of change sweeping Gulf region. Sheikh Tamim returned to Doha by the crack of dawn but it was a substantive visit.

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West’s Information War Continues

8 April, 2021 — Origin: New Eastern Outlook

Gunnar Ulson – NEO – YouTube has recently deleted the latest channel used by Iranian state media’s PressTV. The move follows attacks on the Iranian media outlet by US-based social media giant Facebook earlier this year.

PressTV’s own take on the deletion in its article, “Google renews attack on YouTube account of Iran’s Press TV,” would note:

Google has for the seventh time targeted Iranian broadcaster Press TV, blocking the English-language news network’s access to its official YouTube account without any prior notice.

The US tech giant shut YouTube accounts of Press TV late on Tuesday, citing “violations of community guidelines.”

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The China-Iran pact is a game changer – III

1 April 2021 — Indian Punchline

Part III: There is no timetable for an official launch

The China-Iran joint statement of last Saturday has made waves in the international media and among regional analysts from Israel to India. Israel is anxious that there is going to be security cooperation between China and Iran. Indians are brooding over the fate of their Chabahar port project in eastern Iran, integral to its “regional connectivity”.

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