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By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Mustafa Alani
In a match with political overtones, Iran plays Qatar in a World Cup qualifier Tuesday that both nations need to win to maintain hope of reaching next year's tournament in Brazil.
Rebels backed by captured tanks launched a fresh offensive on a government complex housing a police academy near the northern city of Aleppo on Sunday, while the government hit back with airstrikes to try to protect the strategic installation, activists said.
Elections to pick Iran’s next president are still five months away, but that’s not too early for some warning shots by the country’s leadership.
Syria's civil war is closing in on President Bashar Assad's seat of power in Damascus with clashes between government forces and rebels flaring around the city Tuesday, raising fears the capital will become the next major battlefield in the 20-month-old conflict.
A mortar slammed into a ninth-grade classroom in the Damascus suburbs on Tuesday, killing nine students and a teacher, according to state media, as the civil war closed in on President Bashar Assad's seat of power.
With missile batteries, fleets of attack boats and stocks of naval mines, Iran can disrupt traffic through the Strait of Hormuz but probably cannot completely shut down the world's most important oil route, military analysts say. The question for Iran's leadership is whether it is worth the heavy price.
Just a few dozen Saudi women took part in a protest to demand the release of prisoners they claim are unfairly linked to militants.
The most potent challenge to Iran's ruling system may not be international sanctions or the homegrown political opposition but something as simple as a shopping list.
"As much as people try to say sport is neutral, you can never separate sports and politics," said Mustafa Alani, an analyst at the Gulf Research Center in Geneva. "Athletes are representing a country. This is, by nature, a political act. The history of sports is full of political backstories: U.S. vs. the Soviet Union, Israel being shunned by many Muslim countries and, to add to the list, Iran and its rivals in the Gulf."
"It's more or less a shell because the Syrians decided to remove everything inside the buildings," said Mustafa Alani, an analyst with the Gulf Research Center in Geneva. "I don't think there's anything left really of any value for the rebels."