Why big European banks are reluctant to return to Iran

Iranians and Americans see different reasons for major European banks’ reluctance to return to the Iranian market after the nuclear deal.
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 Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on May 3

Gaza renews taxi fleet to dismay of old cab drivers

For the first time in nine years, Israel has allowed the entry of new taxi cars into Gaza, a decision that appealed to Gazans but was met with criticism by the owners of old and dilapidated cars, who fear that the new cars will put them out of business.
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 Ahmad Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 3

Aleppo on verge of decisive battle

UN Syria envoy calls for “urgent initiative” as Syrian offensive in Aleppo appears imminent; the question at the heart of the Aramco IPO offer.
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 Al-Monitor Week in Review on May 1

Oman and Iran: Friends with many benefits

Oman is willing to brave the GCC's disapproval to take advantage of opportunities with and for Iran.
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 Giorgio Cafiero for Al-Monitor on April 29

What Iran’s first non-oil trade surplus means for its economy

Iran’s non-oil trade balance has turned positive for the first time in the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran, but is this good news?
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 Maysam Bizær for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 1

Why is Jordan restricting Palestinians' travel?

Palestinians have been fighting repressive Israeli travel restrictions for years, now they face Jordanian ones too.
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 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on April 29

Who’s to blame for US seizure of $2 billion in Iranian assets?

Iran's former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has rejected blame in a US Supreme Court case that ruled Iran's assets of $2 billion can be seized.
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 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on April 28

Will Syria's Kurds succeed at self-sufficiency?

Despite major obstacles and challenges, the Kurds are making efforts to achieve economic self-sufficiency in areas they control in northern Syria.
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 Sardar Mlla Drwish for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on May 3

Aid poured into fixing mosques while Gazans live in tents

Enormous funds are being funneled into the reconstruction of destroyed mosques in private projects that are directed by the donors themselves, with money Hamas cannot redirect toward housing displaced Gazans.
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 Entsar Abu Jahal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 2

Israel's ultra-Orthodox skip Passover cleaning, go on vacation

The exhausting pre-Passover cleaning needed to rid observant houses of leavened bread has inspired many ultra-Orthodox families to celebrate Passover in hotels instead of at home and even led to specialized overseas vacation packages.
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 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on April 28

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