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Pompeo: Trump ‘Will Continue to Ratchet Up Pressure’ on Iran

U.S. President Donald Trump will increase pressure on Iran, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday, but he declined specific comment on whether the administration would continue sanctions waivers for countries that import Iranian oil. Pompeo told a U.S. Senate committee he had “no announcements” on whether Washington would …

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Interview: Ex-Afghan Warlord Says ‘No Doubt’ Pakistan ‘Supports’ Taliban

By RFE/RL’s Radio Free AfghanistanGulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of Afghanistan’s most notorious former warlords, said there is “no doubt” neighboring Pakistan supports the Afghan Taliban.In an interview with RFE/RL in the Afghan capital on April 14, Hekmatyar also expressed hope that talks scheduled this week between the Western-backed Kabul government and …

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Pakistan wants to renew engagement, but can it deliver?

Maroof Raza Consulting Editor (Strategic Affairs) In reality, what irks Pakistan the most is to be ignored by India – as was the case following the attack on the IAF’s Pathankot airbase. References to Pakistan and how to deal with it seems to be as much a part of the …

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AFTER U.S. SANCTIONS, IRAN’S PETROCHEMICAL EXPORTS DECLINE

The United States have started to enforce sanctions in the second half of 2018 after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal. Iran’s ports of petrochemical products during the last fiscal year stood at 20 million tons, compared to the 22.4 million that the country exported during the previous year, according …

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India called Pakistan’s bluff with air strikes: Modi

India has called nuclear-armed Pakistan’s bluff with its air strikes on terror camps in that country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday, adding that one country cannot have two Prime Ministers. Referring to the air strikes by the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Balakot, Modi told an election rally here: “Pakistan and its supporters have been threatening us for …

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Abdullah Says Won’t Attend Afghanistan’s Planned Peace Loya Jirga

KABUL — Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah says he will boycott a planned meeting of nearly 2,500 Afghan politicians and tribal, ethnic, and religious leaders aimed at discussing negotiations with the Taliban. Abdullah made the announcement on April 14, about two weeks before the gathering, known as a consultative Loya …

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No evidence of Pakistan dismantling terror infrastructure, says ex-envoy Haqqani

Haqqani, who has authored several books, is currently the Director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute think-tank. WASHINGTON: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent statement promising an end of support to terror groups does not reflect a change of policy and is motivated by the fear of …

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Taliban launches deadly attack in Afghanistan’s Kunduz

The group’s fighters attacked the city from various directions after midnight, killing many and wounding over 50 others. At least six people have been killed and more than 50 wounded in Afghanistan‘s northern city of Kunduz in an assault by Taliban fighters, according to a local official. Mohammad Yusouf Ayubi, the head of …

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Soleimani: Mastermind of Iran’s Mideast Expansion

WASHINGTON —  U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week described a powerful Iranian military commander as a “terrorist,” while discussing options the U.S. government could have to further punish Iran for its destabilizing activities in the Middle East. “Qassem Soleimani has the blood of Americans on his hands … …

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US Designation of Revolutionary Guards Risks Escalation

By Dr. James M. Dorsey BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,139, April 12, 2019 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The US designation of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization, and the Iranian response, has potentially put US military personnel in the region in harm’s way. The designation increases economic pressure on Iran because …

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