French academic says Qatari newspaper misrepresented his views on GCC

Dr. Stephane La Croix said his views on the GCC nations were "altered and misrepresented" in Qatari newspaper Al Sharq. (Supplied)
Updated 14 February 2018

French academic says Qatari newspaper misrepresented his views on GCC

LONDON: A leading French academic said that a widely circulated Qatari newspaper article in which he appeared to be taking sides against Saudi Arabia and the UAE was inaccurate.
Speaking exclusively with Arab News, Dr Stephane La Croix, a specialist on Islam and the Gulf countries, confirmed the alteration and misrepresentation of his views.
“There were many mistakes. They (Al Sharq) acknowledged them and published a more accurate version, and I don’t want to make further comment,” he said.
Dr. La Croix said that the newspaper has agreed to correct the story and rectify what it has previously published.
The widely circulated article first appeared on Feb. 13 and originally contained some inaccurate comments about Saudi-UAE relations and the role both countries played in the region. The interview reappeared on Tuesday with a new headline and an apology.
The newspaper claimed that the mistakes were of a technical nature, and related to the misuse of terminology with the newspaper’s translation of Dr. La Croix’s interview.
In a published statement, Orient XXI criticized the unprofessionalism displayed by Al Sharq and decided to publish its own translation of the interview it conducted with Dr. La Croix, this can be read in full here
Dr. La Croix teaches political science at Sciences Po, a leading university in Paris, and is the author of several books on the Middle East.
Qatar is in dispute with several Arab countries. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties last April and imposed a boycott because of Doha’s links with terrorism and its media’s incitement of extremism.
One such example happened last month when Qatar signed a security agreement with the NATO alliance.
Qatari media and its allies in the Middle East region exaggerated the deal but stopped short from claiming that Doha took a full role in the transatlantic alliance.

Iran faces ‘strongest sanctions in history’

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Updated 22 May 2018

Iran faces ‘strongest sanctions in history’

  • US Secretary of State laid out Trump administration’s strategy for constraining Iran’s nuclear program
  • US threatens "strongest sanctions in history" if Iranian government does not change course

WASHINGTON: The US told Iran on Monday to drop its nuclear ambitions and pull out of the Syrian civil war in a list of demands that marked a new hard-line against Tehran and prompted an Iranian official to warn that Washington seeks regime change.

Weeks after US President Donald Trump pulled out of an international nuclear deal with Iran, his administration threatened to impose “the strongest sanctions in history,” setting Washington and Tehran on a deeper course of confrontation.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded sweeping changes that would force Iran effectively to reverse years of its foreign policies.

“The sting of sanctions will only grow more painful if the regime does not change course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen for itself and the people of Iran,” Pompeo said in his first major speech since becoming secretary of state.

“These will be the strongest sanctions in history by the time we are done,” he added.

Pompeo took aim at Iran’s policy of expanding its influence in the Middle East through support for proxy armed groups in countries such as Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

He warned that the US would “crush” Iranian operatives and allies abroad and told Tehran to pull out forces under its command from the Syrian civil war where they back President Bashar Assad.

Iran is unlikely to accede to the US demands. Tension between the two countries has grown notably since Trump this month withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement aimed at preventing Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Pompeo warned that if Iran fully resumed its nuclear program Washington would be ready to respond and said the administration would hold companies doing prohibited business in Iran to account.

“Our demands on Iran are not unreasonable: Give up your program,” Pompeo said, “Should they choose to go back, should they begin to enrich, we are fully prepared to respond to that as well,” he said, declining to elaborate.

Pompeo said if Iran made major changes, the US was prepared to ease sanctions, re-establish full diplomatic and commercial relations and support the country’s re-integration into the international economic system.

The speech did not explicitly call for regime change but Pompeo repeatedly urged the Iranian people not to put up with their leaders, specifically naming President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

“At the end of the day the Iranian people will get to make a choice about their leadership. If they make the decision quickly, that would be wonderful, if they choose not to do so we will stay hard at this until we achieve the outcomes I set forward,” said Pompeo.