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Report: Bernie to push vote on Yemen war powers next week

The expedited measure would end the US role in the conflict and alter Washington's relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Reporting | Middle East

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has said there will be a vote on a war powers resolution next week that would end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, according to reporting by the Intercept today.

The move comes just two months after reports emerged that the Biden administration began a process of reevaluating the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia after the Gulf kingdom refused to increase oil production amid rising prices due in part to the war in Ukraine. 

A UN-brokered ceasefire between the Saudi-led coalition and Houthi rebels in Yemen expired in October but violence between the warring parties has been relatively sporadic since. 

Congress passed a war powers resolution on Yemen with bipartisan backing in 2019, only to have it vetoed by then-President Trump. Sanders told the Intercept that he believes his resolution this time will also have enough votes to pass the senate. Lawmakers in the House introduced a similar measure back in June.

“Enacting the Yemen WPR would fundamentally shift the U.S.-Saudi relationship by ending U.S. support for Saudi aggression in Yemen,” Hassan El-Tayyab of the Friends Committee on National Legislation and the Quincy Institute’s Annelle Sheline recently wrote in RS. “It would also demonstrate to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that U.S. support is not unconditional: if he pursues policies contrary to U.S. interests, Washington will reconsider security guarantees and military support to Saudi Arabia.”

A coalition of groups, including the Quincy Institute, will release a letter this week calling on Congress to vote on the Yemen war powers resolution during the lame duck session.

Editorial credit: Crush Rush / Shutterstock.com
Reporting | Middle East
US aid from pier in Gaza looted, none distributed so far
US military releases photos of pier to deliver aid to Gaza (Reuters)

US aid from pier in Gaza looted, none distributed so far

QiOSK

Last week, the U.S. military finally completed a long-awaited temporary pier to bring aid into Gaza, which American officials hope will alleviate the famine gripping the besieged region. There’s just one catch: None of that aid has actually been distributed to starving Palestinians.

After desperate locals looted an initial convoy of aid Saturday, officials have had to rethink their approach to distributing the life-saving supplies. The shipments are now headed to a warehouse from which they will be distributed to humanitarian groups “in the coming days,” a Pentagon spokesperson said Tuesday. (“Conditions permitting,” he added, in an apparent reference to the fact that the pier can only operate in exceptionally calm waters.)

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Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (R) greeting newly-appointed commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Esmail Qaani (L), Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri (C), and Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Chief Commander Hossein Salami, during a mourning ceremony in Tehran for slain top general Qasem Soleimani,Tehran, Iran on January 9, 2020. Handout Photo via SalamPix/ABACAPRESS.COM
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (R) greeting newly-appointed commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Esmail Qaani (L), Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri (C), and Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Chief Commander Hossein Salami, during a mourning ceremony in Tehran for slain top general Qasem Soleimani,Tehran, Iran on January 9, 2020. Handout Photo via SalamPix/ABACAPRESS.COM

Raisi’s death throws a wrench into internal Iranian politics

Middle East

Iran’s president, foreign minister, and several other high-level officials lost their lives on Sunday, when their helicopter crashed in a mountainous area in northwest Iran.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was an ultra-hardliner who had been handpicked in 2021 by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to be Iran’s president. Before his election, Raisi had a long career in the judiciary and a notorious and well-documented track record for violating the human rights of the Iranian people.

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How Europe is responding to death of Iran's president

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell attend a joint news conference, in Tehran, Iran June 25, 2022. Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

How Europe is responding to death of Iran's president

Europe

The crash of the helicopter and resulting death of the Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi and the country’s foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian came at a tense time in EU-Iran relations.

Tehran’s support for the Russian war in Ukraine, domestic repression and support for Hamas, classified as a terrorist organization in the EU, have caused many EU leaders to perceive Iran as one of the bloc’s top geopolitical adversaries.

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