Analysis, Side Feature, South Asia

Views on the News – 8 Aug 2018


  • Sanctions re-imposed on Iran
  • Arab Spring comes to Bangladesh?
  • Saudi Takes on Canada

Sanctions re-imposed on Iran

Donald Trump has warned America’s trading partners that anyone who does business with Iran will not be doing business with the US, after his administration reimposed blanket sanctions on Iran. The new sanctions, which hit Iran’s access to dollars, gold and precious metals. The punitive measures came into force in the early hours of August 7th, and follow Trump’s decision in May to renege on the landmark 2015 deal to curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The sanctions also target a range of industries, including Iran’s car-making sector, and will be followed by a set of additional and even more stringent measures by 4 November, including an embargo on the import of Iranian oil and sanctions on its banking sector. For all the years Iran aided US in setting up a client government in Baghdad and in securing north Afghanistan for the US occupation, this is what it’s being repaid with. The US has no permanent friends or allies, just strategic interests.


Arab Spring comes to Bangladesh?

Tens of thousands of students joined demonstrations demanding safer roads, which began after a speeding bus killed two teenagers on July 29. The students have brought parts of the country to a standstill by checking drivers’ licenses and marching through the streets. According to the National Committee to Protect Shipping, Roads and Railways, a private research group, more than 4,200 pedestrians were killed in road accidents last year – a 25 percent increase from 2016. In response the Awami league government had begun a crackdown. Numerous witnesses claimed individuals linked to the ruling Awami League party have attacked protesters with machetes and sticks. Bangladeshi authorities are “unlawfully attacking” student protesters in a crackdown after days of demonstrations while locking up people for “peaceful criticism.” Yet again, Bangladesh authorities seem determined to take abusive shortcuts to problems, and then denounce those who criticise,” Brad Adams, Asia director at HRW, said in the statement


Saudi Takes on Canada

The Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland received the award for Foreign Policy’s 2018 Diplomat of the Year and in a tweet she highlighted her concern for the arrest of female activists in Saudi Arabia. But in just 48 hours Saudi Arabia’s government rapidly deployed an array of sanctions against Canada, including a freeze on all new bilateral trade and investment, a suspension of all Saudia airline flights to Canada, and an order for 16,000 Saudi students to leave Canada. And now Saudi has moved to expel Canadian the Canadian ambassador. Saudi appears to be sending a message that the monarchy internal policy is of limits to everyone. Interestingly the monarchy moves against such criticism but does little when the ummah is ridiculed, persecuted and humiliated by other nations.