Crimea showers Syria with wheat, Ukraine cries foul

[Produced with Reuters colleagues Jonathan Saul and Maha El Dahan and published here December 19, 2022]

LONDON/DUBAI/BEIRUT, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Using a low-profile fleet of ships under U.S. sanctions, Syria has this year sharply increased wheat imports from the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea that Russia annexed from Ukraine, a sign of tightening economic ties between two allies shunned by the West.

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Iraq gets US sanctions break to keep the lights on | AFP

[Written with my colleague Ammar Karim and published here on November 8, 2018]

Iraq has won an exemption allowing it to buy Iranian electricity despite US sanctions, as the country plagued by chronic power shortages walks a tightrope between rivals Washington and Tehran.

With US measures imposed Monday taking aim at Iran’s banking and energy industries, there were concerns Iraq — which heavily relies on its eastern neighbour for electricity and consumer goods — would be caught in the crossfire.

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Hezbollah Unfazed | Atlantic Council

Atlantic Council

Atlantic Council

[Published here July 25, 2013]

In a long-awaited move, the European Union on Monday designated the military wing of Lebanon’s Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. The months-long discussions were catalyzed by American pressure and proof of Hezbollah’s involvement  in a 2012 terrorist attack in Bulgaria. The precise effects of the designation on Hezbollah’s operations in Europe remain unclear; nevertheless, as British Foreign Secretary William Hague and EU officials assessed, the move serves as an important message to Hezbollah that its era of impunity in Europe is coming to an end.

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