March 31st 2013 in International Relations

Relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and its Sunni Arab neighbours continue to deteriorate as regional rivalries play out with the Syrian conflict spiraling out of control at the forefront. Saudi intelligence services have reported that eighteen people arrested earlier this month on espionage charges have clear ties to the Iranian government, a charge that Tehran flatly denied. At the United Nations, Iran – alongside allies Syria and North Korea – blocked the adoption of what would be the world’s first treaty to regulate the global arms trading industry. However, Iran achieved a minor public relations victory this past week, with the resumption of a direct air route between Tehran and Cairo for the first time in thirty-four years.  (March 26, 2013 – Al-Jazeera; March 28, 2013 Time World; March 28, 2013 – BBC; March 30, 2013 – Gulf News)