9th – 13th July

Saudi Arabia has largely escaped the kind of protests that have toppled since last year four Arab heads of state and have shook other governments. However, the Saudi government announced that on Monday two men have been killed after protests in a Shia Muslim area, following the arrest of a prominent Shia cleric.

Although the Sultanate of Oman has escaped the consequences of the Arab Spring, recent protests about youth unemployment in Suhar, the second Omani city, and the arrest of 14 Omani rights activists in June point to rising discontent in the Gulf monarchy.

The reopening of the proceedings of the Assembly by the new Egyptian President, Mohammed Morsi, was held the last Tuesday and it took only twelve minutes. On this occasion, the President of the Parliament, Saad al-Katatni, said the President had not violated the decision of the High Constitutional Court by cancelling the dissolution of the People’s Assembly.

Last Wednesday, while the clashes opposed Syrian forces and fighters anti-regime in Damascus, Moscow, which received an officer of the Syrian opposition, announced that nevertheless it continues to deliver weapons to Damascus and brings an inflexible support to Bashar Al-Assad.

Congress is moving to dramatically tighten economic sanctions against Iran, as lawmakers from both major parties express impatience over U.S. efforts to halt the expansion of Iran’s nuclear program.