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Oman, a crucial back channel between Iran and US

Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Rice University

Prior to launching a barrage of drones and missiles at Israel on April 13, 2024, Iran reportedly got word to Washington that its response to an earlier strike on its embassy compound in Syria would seek to avoid major escalation. The message was conveyed via the Gulf Arab state of Oman.

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Iran sanctions: four decades of Western pressure

In the 45 years since the Islamic revolution in Iran, Western powers have used a punishing array of sanctions against Tehran in a bid to force a change of approach.

With Iran facing the possibility of further punitive measures after its direct attack on Israel on April 13, here is a timeline of the sanctions imposed:

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Israel will hit back at Iran, but timing uncertain, say analysts

Israel is almost certain to retaliate at some stage against Iran's unprecedented drone and missile attack, but the question is how and when, say security analysts.

World leaders have urged calm and the United States, Israel's top ally, called on Israel to refrain from a military response, at a time when the region is already in turmoil over the Gaza war.

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Why Gaza truce talks are at an 'impasse'

They set themselves a 48-hour deadline earlier this week, but on Thursday neither Hamas nor Israel had shown any signs of agreeing to a truce in Gaza despite pressure from international mediators.

The United States, Egypt and Qatar put together a framework for a deal that would include a six-week halt to fighting and the exchange of about 40 hostages for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

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Six months of bloodshed: the Gaza war in numbers

The bloodiest ever war in Gaza that broke out exactly six months ago has taken an appalling human toll.

At least 33,175 people have been killed in the besieged Palestinian territory in Israel's campaign of retaliation for the October 7 attack.

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Trump increasingly ambiguous on Israel amid Gaza war

At the start of Israel's war with Hamas in October, Donald Trump loudly presented himself as the key U.S. ally's ultimate champion.

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What is World Central Kitchen and how has it helped people in Gaza?

World Central Kitchen, the food charity founded by celebrity chef José Andrés, called a halt to its work in the Gaza Strip after an apparent Israeli strike killed seven of its workers, mostly foreigners.

The group, which said it will make decisions about longer-term plans in the region soon, has been bringing desperately-needed food to Gazans facing widespread hunger and pioneered the recently launched effort to deliver aid by sea from Cyprus. Its absence, even if temporary, is likely to deepen the war-torn territory's misery as the United Nations warns that famine is imminent.

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Damascus strike: Is Israel turning to Lebanon and Syria to weaken Iran?

A deadly strike blamed on Israel against Iran's diplomatic mission in Damascus could trigger a spillover of the Gaza war across the region, an escalation Tehran had sought to avoid, analysts said.

Monday's strike levelled the consular annex of the Iranian embassy and killed 13 people, including seven members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Iranian state media reported.

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After a huge setback in local elections, which way forward now for Erdogan?

The huge gains made by the opposition in Turkey's local elections are raising the possibility that the long-serving President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling party could step back from some of the populist leader's more polarizing policies ahead of the next round of voting in four years' time.

There is no doubt that Sunday's local polls were a blow to both Erdogan and his Islamic-oriented Justice and Development Party, or AKP, which won last year's presidential and parliamentary elections.

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Israeli strikes foe Hezbollah in Syria and Lebanon

Israel launched deadly cross-border strikes Friday on Hezbollah targets in Syria and Lebanon, doubling down on Iran-backed foes and Hamas allies, and fuelling concerns the violence could spark a major regional conflagration.

The Israeli army said it killed the deputy head of Hezbollah's rocket unit, Ali Naim, in one of the attacks on southern Lebanon.

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