Articles and analysis

DominiqueIMG-20201015-WA0021Recently, an article appeared in the New York Times discussing the American 'policy of maximum pressure' on Iran, reports Dominique Ankone. This policy entails financial sanctions re-imposed on Iran by the U.S. government after their formal withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), better known as the Iran nuclear deal. The author bases his article on the remarks of an officer of the Israeli army. The US strategy has resulted in discontent among the Iranians, according to the officer cited in the article. About the economic sanctions he is quoted to have said: "It has made it clear [within Iran] that there's a thin dictatorial layer, covering [big] resentment from a society who want to live and educate themselves. Given time, the economic pressure can topple the regime." According to the author, the policy is 'fueling a sense of grievance among a restive people'. Is a new Iranian Revolution possible, and why might it be thinkable?.

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Much is made of the heroism of the Mediterranean resistance campaigns of World War II. The fierce defence of Malta, the defiance of the Greeks in the face of a triple occupation - and the curious case of Gibraltar, which avoided invasion altogether, writes Laurent Rathborn. But was this becasue of one man, or were greater historical forces at play?
Germany could not pass up taking control of the Strait of Gibraltar, cutting off the British from Suez and their eastern empire, and smoothing resupply of raw materials from North African Vichy client regimes. Yet Gibraltar was not invaded, and the vast preparations for its defence (including mass evacuations and frantic tunnel-digging) ensured that Axis bombing raids were shrugged off with relatively little damage.
Gibraltar has occupied a particular spot in the lore surrounding World War II Nazi resistance figures, mostly due to the fact that one of the most senior was the man tasked with planning the invasion of the Rock and that on the surface at least, it was saved by that same German internal resistance and interference, rather than any opposing action by the Allies.

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Euan GrantEuan Grant argues that the question mark is superfluous and a financial NATO (or NATO+) is sorely needed to tackle all aspects of illicit financial flows into, and more importantly through, the UK and particularly the City of London, which is arguably the world's premier financial centre

Dirty Money - a phrase requiring definition and modernisation

The term, and its now grandmother "money laundering" need updating to take account of changes to international financial flows, legitimate or otherwise, since the birth of the Internet, which coincided with the rise of China into a major worldwide trading economy, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent looting of the rents from its huge natural resources. Perhaps this parallels national defence and security establishments, still required to maintain expensive and demanding legacy platforms while preparing for cyber competition and unmanned platforms, all driven by massive increases in computing power and the approach of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

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