Weekly Regional Brief
Hezbollah Imports Oil into Lebanon
On Thursday, September 16, Hezbollah began importing Iranian fuel into Lebanon amid the country’s fuel crisis. However, this shipment “violate[s] United States sanctions imposed on Iranian oil sales.”
Iran Joins the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
On Friday, September 17, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi announced Iran’s decision to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, currently consisting of China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. According to Raisi, this move will assist in “expand[ing] political, economic and cultural ties with countries across the region and protect[ing] Iran from unilateral punishments from the West.”
Ongoing: Tunisian Political Crisis
On Saturday, September 18, Tunisians flooded the streets of Tunis in protest of President Kais Saied’s unilateral seizure of power. Having suspended parliament 8 weeks ago, Saied is yet to appoint a prime minister and continues to arrest political leaders without providing reason for detainment.
Arabic Sources from the Region
After Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi’s historic meeting with Pope Francis in March 2021, the Iraqi leader hosted a trilateral summit this week with Jordanian and Egyptian leaders to discuss strengthening economic cooperation and combating terrorism. Iraq seeks to build a partnership between the region’s heads of state and restore Iraq’s image as an Arab and international leader. Al-Kadhimi announced the “New Sham” project, an economic investment plan named for the region loosely comprising the three countries participating in the summit, with the hope that more of the region will participate in coming years.
This article was published by Sky News Arabia, an Abu Dhabi-based Arabic news source owned by Comcast and the Emirati royal family.