Herewith this week’s Mire – a little shorter than usual as T&W is travelling in the Far East and Antipodes…
IRAN/ELECTIONS – It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, does not want President Hassan Rouhani to be relected in May. The Mashhad Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Alam ol Hoda said the government had deviated from the Resistance Economy doctrine known to be supported by the Supreme Leader. The Interim Tehran Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi-Kermani called it a “disaster” that the “luxurious life of those in power separates them from the people.”
HAMAS/ISRAEL – A senior Hamas leader has made his position towards Israel clear in an interview with Al Aqsa TV. Mahmoud Al-Zahhar said the Koran “tells us to drive the Jews out of Palestine in its entirety and to kill them wherever you may find them”. He went on to say “Our position is: Palestine in its entirety, and not a grain of soil less..”.
The EU Summit in Rome this week to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome which created the EU’s predecessor, the EEC, is mostly about symbolism. With the UK leaving, many member states will be keen to show unity. If some also begin talking about a race towards a single ‘ever closer union’ a row could break out. The likelihood is that unity symbolism will be the order of the ay as everyone waits for the results of the French and German elections later this year.
Mar 19/23 – Japanese PM Abe in France, Germany and Italy as well as a visit to EU HQ in Brussels.
Mar 19/22 – Israeli PM Netanyahu in Beijing with 5 ministers and a business delegation.
Mar 19/22 – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte visits Burma and Thailand.
Mar 20 – Eurogroup meets to discuss Greece.
Mar 20 – U.S. House of Representatives holds 1st hearing into possible Russian interference in elections.
Mar 21/22 – French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen visits French forces in Chad.
Mar 22 – U.S. Sec of State Rex Tillerson hosts meeting of the Global Coalition working to defeat ISIS.
Mar 22/29 – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Australia.
Mar 25 – EU informal summit in Rome to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome.
Mar 25 – Europe; Daylight saving time… spring forward, fall back.