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News round-up week of Jan. 5-10: As U.S. and Iran pushed toward war, life went on elsewhere in the region

The U.S. and Iran pushed toward war this past week, going from near-hysterical heightened tensions between the two countries, to a blinding fumble and resulting confusion, a downed passenger plane, to renewed protests that finally eased tensions, but still with no lasting trust or resolution.

So what has been going on?

Thomas Friedman of The New York Times has two columns that shed light on the political and social changes in Iran.

“Trump Kills Iran’s Most Overrated Warrior”
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/03/opinion/iran-general-soleimani.html

“Iran Is Crushing Freedom One Country at a Time”
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/03/opinion/iran-iraq-trump.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

Another column in Al Jazeera also touches on what’s been going on in Iran https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/soleimani-anti-imperialist-hero-200105211451136.html?utm_source=website&utm_medium=article_page&utm_campaign=read_more_links

On Al Jazeera, NATO stood with the U.S.
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/nato-stands-soleimani-assassination-warns-iran-200106173245219.html

Al Jazeera’s live updates also showed the tension, shock and consternation among all parties, which Pakistan wanting very much to be left out of the narrative.
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/iran-tensions-soleimani-killing-latest-updates-200106051858184.html

Meanwhile, a glance at the newspapers elsewhere in the region shows that as the region was seemingly headed for war this past week, there was optimism and a steady movement. As activity in the U.S. and elsewhere froze, life kept going on.

In Dubai, the top news on Tuesday when tensions were the highest was not the U.S.-Iran conflict but that the country’s new tourist visas extended to five years. https://www.khaleejtimes.com/news/government/five-year-tourist-visa-announced-in-uae-for-all-nationalities–#slide3

The Khaleej Times editor’s note also provided some much-needed insight and background on Iran’s actions
https://www.khaleejtimes.com/editorials-columns/let-brinkmanship-not-block-out-the-voice-of-wisdom-

And we see why Pakistan wants to be left out of the narrative
https://www.khaleejtimes.com/uae/dubai/pakistan-navy-ship-docks-in-dubai-as-goodwill-gesture-1

Meanwhile, the Tehran Times ramped up its rhetoric and at one point had a story on the front page about “summoning” the German ambassador to rebuke them over Soleimani
https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/443868/Iran-summons-German-diplomat-over-destructive-remarks

By the end of the week, however, the Tehran Times had softened its tone to lead with a story on the new U.S. sanctions
https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/444054/Iran-downplays-fresh-U-S-sanctions

By the end of the week, in Dubai, there were torrential rains.
https://www.khaleejtimes.com/news/weather/non-stop-rainfall-in-uae-breaks-24-year-record

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