Rise of the New Persian Empire

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani waves to the crowd during a rally in Tehran’s Azadi Square to mark the 36th anniversary of the Islamic revolution on February 11.(BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

 

How Iran is taking control of the Middle East

Under the magnanimous rule of Cyrus the Great, the Persian Empire extended from the foothills of the Himalayas to the banks of the Nile River. It was a vast conglomeration of peoples, creeds, religions and languages tied together in large part by the governing policies of King Cyrus. Cyrus believed that the empire would remain stable if its subjects were allowed to keep their own customs while still paying homage to Persia.

Today, Iran—the progeny of that dynasty—is once more vying to carve out an empire. But this kingdom is being forged and expanded in ways that bear little similarity to ancient Persia. The rising empire relies on fear, extortion, intimidation and bloodshed—conversion by the sword. The advancement of its banner across the Middle East threatens the permanency of those nations that lie in the warpath, and also threatens to plunge the international community into deeper conflict.

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Risk of war as new Nile treaty delays

Countries that share the Nile waters on Monday warned that the region could go to war unless a new treaty on the use of the Nile waters is drawn up.

Nile Basin countries have increased pressure on Egypt to get back to the negotiating table for discussions on how the waters of the world’s longest river can be used.

On Monday, participants gathered at Nairobi’s InterContinental Hotel for the Fourth Nile Basin Development Forum warned the region might face conflicts over water in future if a new agreement is not reached.

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Ethiopia’s Nile dam project signals its intention to become an African power

The 4×4 roars off, kicking up a cloud of dust. With one hand on the wheel, the other stifling a yawn, Semegnew Bekele could do this trip with his eyes shut. A construction engineer, he has driven down this track at every hour of the day or night over the past three years. “Ordinary people are building an extraordinary project,” he says. He is referring to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam (Gerd), in the north-west corner of the country close to the border with Sudan. Four hours away from the town of Assosa more than 8,500 workers and engineers are labouring on a massive project to harness the waters of the Blue Nile.

The countdown has already started for Bekele: he has three years left to complete this concrete colossus. “I don’t feel like a special person,” he says, “just an engineer leading the project.” True enough, the driving force behind the dam is former prime minister Meles Zenawi, who ran the country for more than two decades. He was obsessed with the country’s rebirth. The structure will be built, whatever the cost, he asserted, upon laying the first stone in April 2011. He died the following year. Continue reading

Ethiopia army voices readiness to pay the price for Nile dam

A host of Ethiopian army commanders have voiced their readiness to protect the country’s multibillion-dollar hydroelectric dam project, currently at the heart of a major row with Cairo due to Egyptian fears the dam could threaten its traditional share of Nile water.

State-run television reported that military commanders had visited the project site, during which they had voiced their readiness to “pay the price” to protect the dam, which they described as a “national project.”

According to state television, the visit – the first by military commanders to the site – came as part of activities marking Ethiopia’s Army Day. Continue reading

Somaliland’s role in a potential military conflict between Ethiopia and Egypt

Tension is increasing as Ethiopia and Egypt continue to butt heads over the Nile River. Ethiopia remains firm on building the $4.2 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Egypt is determined to stop Ethiopia from building the dam, claiming that Egypt is the “gift of the Nile” and water supply will decrease by 20% and hydroelectric power would decrease by 40%.

The battle over the Nile has already drawn neighboring countries into the dispute. Sudan and South Sudan have expressed their support for Ethiopia’s dam, while Somalia might show their allegiance to Egypt. Continue reading

Ethiopia Ignores Egyptian Warnings on Nile

JERUSALEM — Defying threats of war emanating from Egypt, Ethiopia’s parliament has endorsed an agreement with five other African countries refuting Egypt’s claim to near-exclusive rights to the waters of the Nile River.

The vote last Thursday was approved unanimously by the 547-member legislature after Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said that Egypt’s leaders would not go to war unless they “go mad.” Continue reading

Cairo: Cabinet Minister Talks of War with US, Israel

An Obama administration overturned Egypt has lead predictably to a regime more extreme than the last. As a result, the government openly talks about the United States and Israel as Egypt’s enemies, as well as waging war against the two.

An Egyptian official spoke about war with the United States and Israel during a cabinet meeting officiated by President Mohammed Morsi.

Morsi gathered his ministers to discuss a response to Ethiopia’s plan to build a dam on the Nile River.

According to media reports, ministers were unaware the discussion was being aired live on Egyptian television. Later, the Middle East Research Institute (MEMRI) provided a video of the meeting with English subtitles. Continue reading

Egypt to Ethiopia: All options open if you harm our water supply

As new stories regarding this begin surfacing, it’s beginning to seem as if Egypt’s problem is more likely a neighboring country rising to power, as a hydro-electric dam doesn’t necessarily stem the flow of water, therefore manipulating the downstream flow. It relies on the water flowing to generate electricty.

CAIRO – Egypt will demand that Ethiopia stop construction of a Nile river dam and warned “all options are open” if it harms its water supply, advisers to President Mohamed Morsi said on Wednesday.

“It is Egypt’s right to defend its interests,” said Ayman Ali, one of Morsi’s advisers, in comments carried by the official MENA news agency.

“Other people have a right to seek their own interests. But there must be guarantees that the Ethiopian dam will not harm Egypt, otherwise all options are open,” he added. Continue reading

Egyptian politicians: Sabotage Ethiopia’s new dam

CAIRO (AP) — Politicians meeting with Egypt’s president on Monday proposed hostile acts against Ethiopia, including backing rebels and carrying out sabotage, to stop it from building a massive dam on the Nile River upstream.

Some of the politicians appeared unaware the meeting with President Mohammed Morsi was being carried live on TV. Morsi did not directly react to the suggestions, but said in concluding remarks that Egypt respects Ethiopia and its people and will not engage in any aggressive acts against the East African nation. Continue reading