Iraqis look to reluctant ayatollah to take more active political role

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is seen by his Shiite followers as a key figure to provide political guidance

Khaldoon al-Mubarak — Abu Dhabi’s unflappable fixer

From chair of Manchester City to overseeing the emirate’s assets, this dealmaker has become a powerful figure

Iran presses on with oil sales despite US sanctions

Iran is stilling its oil, saying the US's ‘maximum pressure’ on Tehran has failed

Iraq leader to resign at request of cleric after protests see 400 dead

Adil Abdel-Mahdi was greeted with cheers by protesters who want to topple what they see as a corrupt government, overly influenced by Iran

Iraq in turmoil as 25 protesting Iran’s influence are killed

In the worst street unrest since the 2003 US-led invasion, and with more than 200 wounded, one controversial general has already been removed

Lebanon pays $1.5bn bond payment but the wolves are at the door

The yield on the March 2020 bond rose as high as 105% last week from a mere 13% on October 17, when antigovernment protests began

Enemies at Israel’s borders are propelling its soaring drone industry

The senior levels of Israel's drone industry are populated by former military and intelligence officials

Libya’s El Feel oilfield halts production due to air strikes

A statement on the Facebook page of the military council of Sabha said forces aligned with the Tripoli government have taken control of El Feel

Benjamin Netanyahu ‘is fighting for his life’ in leadership battle

The prime minister has become the first sitting Israeli leader to face criminal charges

Israel’s Netanyahu faces court, party challenges after indictment

Prime minister denies charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust and refuses to leave office

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu indicted on corruption charges

He could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of bribery and a maximum three-year term for fraud and breach of trust

Iran to account for uranium particles at undeclared site

Finding adds tensions to the 2015 deal between Iran and world powers, which has been faltering since 2018 when the US pulled out of it

Israeli president asks parliament to form new government

Incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu and rival Benny Gantz fail to build a governing coalition

A third election in a year is on the cards for Israel

Israel has been run by a series of caretaker governments with limited ability to fix urgent problems such as the budget deficit and bursting hospitals

US draws ire after saying Israeli settlements no longer considered illegal

The UN and European Union insist settlements are illegal, while Palestinians vow to fight on

Iran unrest may be a sign US squeeze is hurting

Demonstrators die and buses and banks burnt as antigovernment protest turns violent

Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.