Congress gives Obama two more months to strike Iran deal

Hawkish Democrats announce they won’t vote for sanctions before March 24 deal deadline.
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 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on January 27

Iran warned US of 'consequences' for killing general

Iran's deputy foreign minister has said that Iran told the United States that there will be "consequences" for Israel over the Jan. 18 killing of an Iranian general.
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 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor on January 27

Kurdish leader: It is necessary to establish a Kurdish federal state in Syria

In an interview with Al-Hayat, Sherkoh Abbas, president of the Kurdistan National Assembly, talked about the necessity to establish a Kurdish federal state, and said he does not support the Moscow conference, because the Syrian people will pay the price.
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Translated from Al-Hayat (Pan Arab) on January 27

Hamas begins rapprochement with Hezbollah, Iran

A series of meetings in Beirut have brought Hamas and Hezbollah closer, after their divided stances on the Syrian issue and in light of a possible conflict between Hezbollah and Israel.
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 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 27

Turkey’s leftists, Kurds celebrate Syriza victory

The election victory of Greece's leftist Syriza party was cause for celebration among Turkey's Kurds and its marginalized left wing, both of which are seeking more electoral power.
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 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on January 27

Khamenei’s message to the West

An open letter from Iran's supreme leader to Western youth is another sign of the changes afoot in Iran and a decision by the country's leadership to counter Islamophobia.
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 Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor on January 27

Death of Saudi king brings Lebanese leaders together

Several Lebanese officials and delegations, including rivals of the kingdom, have visited Saudi Arabia to pay their condolences for the death of the Saudi king, possibly heralding new breakthroughs in the Lebanese crises.
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 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on January 26

The new Saudi power triangle

While King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, Crown Prince Muqrin and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef are the official positions of power in Saudi Arabia, the real power triangle consists of third-generation princes Mohammed bin Salman, Mutib bin Abdullah and Mohammed bin Nayef.
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Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon) on January 27

Settlement funding: Likud betrays the poor

Over the years, the Likud Party has preferred to grant vast funds to settlements, instead of caring for the weak and poor sectors, which got it to power in the first place.
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 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on January 26

War on Gulenists undermines Turkish diplomacy

Ankara has canceled the authorization of 51 honorary consuls as part of its war on the Gulen movement while President Recep Tayyip Erdogan presses African governments to shut down Gulenist-founded schools.
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 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on January 26

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