Decades of predictions forecasting the imminent demise of “qadiyyah mustana,” the artificial entity called Jordan, all proved incorrect. Against all odds, both the Jordanian state and its Hashemite monarchial dynasty has not only survived but thrived.

The prognosticators of doom included Jordan’s enemies and allies alike. Rivals like the al-Saud dynasty of Arabia and aggressive neighbors like Syria and Iraq were left with appetites unsatisfied. Friends in the West, who bet against Jordan and its Hashemite ruling family, also had to acknowledge their surprise. U.S. National Security Council notes  and British Foreign Secretary Reports  both recommended to President and Prime Minister respectively to no longer invest political capital in the Hashemite kingdom as Jordan’s survivability was in doubt.

Iran’s Supreme National Security Council admitted today that Tehran is permitting Russian military aircraft to stage operations against Syrian rebels from an Iranian airbase.  Satellite photography previously confirmed Russian military aircraft on the tarmac of Iran’s Shahid Nojeh Airfield in 2015. 

However, this is the first time that Tehran is publically confirming that it is allowing advanced Russian long range bombers to use its main air base in Hamadan Province.
 

Last month, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) published a 100-page booklet that attacks many institutions for educating citizens about radical Islam. CAIR’s product is entitled “A National Strategy to Confront Islamophobia.”  The publication cannot be dismissed as mere propaganda or ideological screed. The booklet is meant to be a game changer in the public debate between liberal democracy’s principle of freedom of speech and the increasingly popular politically correct self-censorship in the United States.

    If liberty to discuss Islamic values, beliefs, and scriptures is abridged out of fear of prosecution for hate speech, then CAIR will have accomplished the objective of this publication. The pamphlet identifies examples of alleged Islamophobia in several sectors of American society while suggesting tactics to force a change in behavior.

The Islamic State may soon declare a new province (wilayat) in its virtual caliphate.  The future affiliate is likely to be in the southern region of the Philippines on the island of Mindanao. The Muslims or Moros of this region, for centuries, have battled to remain independent of Spain, the United States, and the Philippines. Negotiations between Manila and the largest Muslim resistance group in Mindanao, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) collapsed just when it appeared that the antagonists were reaching a compromise, which would award the Muslims of Mindanao autonomy status.  Unfortunately, more militant Muslim factions opposed to a negotiated settlement, staged a major offensive which torpedoed the peace talks.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif  tweeted on 17 August that he will visit six Latin American countries beginning today.  Deputy Foreign Minister Majid Takht-Ravanchi noted that Zarif will lead a 60 member delegation on his first visit to the region.  Ravanchi announced that the visit will begin in Cuba on 21 August.  The rest of the itinerary includes Nicaragua, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia, and Venezuela in that order.

Iran’s public links in Latin America involve mostly agricultural-related commerce. Latin American countries send food stuffs to Iran and Tehran ships agricultural equipment, rugs, and pharmaceutical products in return.  Ravanchi speculated that Iran hopes to expand economic ties with the Islamic Republic lending its skills in engineering, dam building, housing construction, and dairy farming techniques to South American countries.  He added there might be opportunities for mutually beneficial oil and gas deals.