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Gulf and Red Sea Regions

Stories under this heading cover the Gulf and the Red Sea regions, including the Arabian Peninsula, Iran and the countries bordering the Red Sea.

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The Emirates in mourning following the death of Sheikh Khalifa

The Emirates in mourning following the death of Sheikh Khalifa

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) have started a forty days mourning period after the death was announced yesterday of the country's second president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan. Khalifa succeeded his father as Ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of the UAE in 2004. However since 2014, following a stroke, he has played only a symbolic role in public life, with most day to day government decisions taken by his heir and brother, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. Sheikh Khalifa was laid to rest on Saturday (14 May) in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.  The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates, each of which still have control over many internal issues. However all defence, foreign policy and security issues are decided at the federal level. The accession of Sheikh Mohammed as president is not automatic, since the rulers of the seven emirates will have to meet in the next thirty days to formally elect the new president. But tradition and real politik has it that the Ruler of Abu Dhabi, by far the richest and the strongest of the seven emirates, gets the position of President.

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In Tehran, at Friday prayers they hail Raisi's visit to Moscow

In Tehran, at Friday prayers they hail Raisi's visit to Moscow

Russia this week rolled out the red carpet for Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. His visit included a rare invitation to address the State Duma, as well as a long meeting with president Putin. Raisi gave Putin the draft of "a document on strategic cooperation between our two countries" which he said can determine or at least clarify the co-operation between the two countries for the next two decades.
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Houthis attack on Abu Dhabi airport is a dangerous escalation

Houthis attack on Abu Dhabi airport is a dangerous escalation

There has been widespread international condemnation of a drone attack on Abu Dhabi International Airport. The Yemeni Houthi Group, which is backed by Iran, has claimed responsibility for the attack which killed three persons. The attack on the airport of the UAE capital is seen as a serious escalation of the ongoing conflict in Yemen where a regional coalition including Saudi Arabia and the UAE is assisting the internationally recognised government of Yemen in its efforts to regain control of the country from the Houthi movement which seized the capital and large swats of the country in 2015.
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Israel says it does not oppose "a good nuclear deal" with Iran

Israel says it does not oppose "a good nuclear deal" with Iran

Israeli leaders appear to have recently softened their position as regards a nuclear deal with Iran, saying they would not oppose "a good deal". Israel’s foreign minister, Yair Lapid, said that Israel would have no problem with a strong nuclear deal with Iran on condition that the deal permanently limits Iran’s ability to assemble a nuclear weapon.