July 3, 2012
August 22, 2012
As the world grapples with Iran’s nuclear ambitions, discussions abound in think tanks and capitals around the world concerning a key question: what makes Iran tick? The real question should be: which Iran?
The Iran of the government of the Islamic Republic, a serial human rights abuser that executes more people per capita than anywhere else in the world, undermines Iran’s enormous economic potential with corruption, mismanagement, and needless diplomatic spats, and sends money and weapons to Hezbollah, Hamas, and Bashar al-Assad’s goons killing the Syrian opposition?
Or the Iran of a young, dynamic populace hungry for democracy, dignity, and jobs, a population that, as Nicholas Kristof has reported recently in the New York Times, harbors little antipathy toward the United States and wants the same freedoms we all want, who are heirs to one of the world’s greatest civilizations that has produced some of the finest thinkers, artists, scientists – and even political leaders — the world has known? Continue reading “American Foreign Policy Must Take Into Account Dueling Irans” »
August 17, 2012
The state should aggressively market itself to foreign investors
Maryland’s economy is headed in the wrong direction. While the unemployment rate here is better than the national average, it remains high at 6.9 percent. What’s more, Maryland actually lost 11,000 jobs in the month of June, the third highest loss in the country. With its natural resources and highly educated workforce, Maryland should be booming, not receding. What our state needs is a new vision to catapult its huge potential into a global reality.
Going global is the key. Thanks to our highly-ranked schools and universities, Maryland has a knowledge-based economy. But we can do even more to establish industrial hubs around nanotechnology, human genomics, cyber-security and health care and cancer research. We should also aggressively recruit investors from abroad to finance these enterprises. Continue reading “Op-Ed: Maryland needs a new plan for economic development” »
July 19, 2012
King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain is one of America’s key allies in the Persian Gulf. He’s also among a growing number of political leaders in the Middle East who see more than oil in the region’s future. After all, the Middle East is blessed with an abundance of another natural resource: sunshine.
Bahrain wants to take full advantage of this reality, and harnessing solar energy has become a top priority in the country. But the government has also taken the surprising step of seeking long-term partnerships with leading American solar energy companies.
Continue reading “Can U.S. exploit Middle East green energy potential? [CNN.com]” »
July 17, 2012
As the United Nations Security Council prepares to vote on a new resolution aimed at curbing the violence in Syria, the White House is stating that President Bashar Assad is losing control of the county. Rob Sobhani joined FOX DC in studio with his take on the situation.
View Rob’s interview on FOX DC here
June 6, 2012
News that the Iranian regime wanted to kill America’s ambassador to Azerbaijan in 2011 should not have come as a surprise to members of the U.S. Congress who have followed Tehran’s repeated attempts to undermine one of America’s most reliable allies in the broader Middle East. After spending a week in Baku, the vibrant capital of Azerbaijan, it has become very clear that the Iranian regime wants to overthrow this pro-western former Soviet republic on its northern border.
Tehran misses no opportunity to destabilize Azerbaijan. The pretext the week I visited Baku was that Azerbaijan was hosting Eurovision, the annual “American Idol” contest of Europe. That a Muslim nation would host singers, dancers, and tourists from all across Europe with open arms, irrespective of how they were dressed or their sexual orientation, is anathema to the intolerant mullahs of Iran. Beyond this superficial condemnation, there are more fundamental reasons for Iran to target this reliable American partner. Continue reading “Iran targets an American ally: Azerbaijan” »
March 14, 2012
Caspian Energy advances smart solar energy in the Middle East with landmark deal in Bahrain
Petra Solar, The National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA), The Bahrain Petroleum Company, and Caspian Energy Holdings Announce Landmark Smart Solar Project in Bahrain
Distributed Smart Solar Energy Project in Awali breaks new ground by bringing both solar power and smart grid technology as a first step towards building a smart city in the Gulf
Petra Solar, a technology company focused on providing reliable, cost-effective smart energy solutions to the electric supply industry, The National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA), The Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) and Caspian Energy Holdings today announced an agreement for a five megawatt distributed smart solar energy project that will bring solar and smart grid benefits to the BAPCO township of Awali, the University of Bahrain and other locations in Bahrain. The project will leverage smart solar technology developed in the U.S. by Petra Solar to generate electricity in a reliable way that stabilizes the grid and will potentially create jobs at several skill levels in Bahrain. The project, a collaborative effort among the U.S. consortium, NOGA, BAPCO, The Electricity & Water Authority (EWA), academia, industry, and government, demonstrates Bahrain’s commitment to solve the challenges of energy security, climate change, and economic development through global partnerships and collaboration. It is the first phase of a national energy plan to generate electricity from renewable sources. Smart solar is an innovative approach that couples solar with smart grid technology and is deployed in partnership with utility companies to generate clean, safe renewable energy while making the electric infrastructure more stable, efficient and energy independent. This approach builds large scale solar in a reliable fashion that avoids future costs of rebuilding the grid. Continue reading “The Future of Solar Energy is Now” »
February 16, 2012
The gap between the Iranian regime and the Iranian people continues to widen. Well-crafted words of hope and encouragement from Western leaders can help widen this gap and make it permanent. Below is a suggested draft for President Obama as he prepares his greeting to Iran on Nowruz (New Year), which falls on March 20.
Tonight as millions of Iranians gather around the Haft Sin table to celebrate Nowruz, on behalf of the American people I want to say Eid-e-shoma Mobarak—happy spring. Nowruz is about renewing bonds of friendship, doing away with the old and bringing in the new. The …
Read Full Article in The Wall Street Journal here
July 9, 2011
President Obama’s recent executive order freezing the assets of Iran’s clerical regime is another step in the right direction, bringing immediate pressure on Tehran. But a more significant move and quite possibly a game-changer would be an executive order, with close congressional consultation, to commit material and policy support for the aspirations of the Iranian people. According to former intelligence officials, the psychological boost of such an act alone by the president will cause a paradigm shift within the Iranian political world.
The fundamental premise of such an order would be to correct the failure of successive administrations to counter the Iranian regime’s covert and overt policy of low-intensity war with America. Continue reading “Obama’s Iran Moment” »
Another round of scape -goating of Iran’s Baha’is by the theocratic regime started last week with a show trial of the seven men and women that make up the ad hoc coordinating body of the Iranian Baha’is – the country’s largest religious minority. Charged with stirring up all the unrest sweeping the country today, Iran’s 300,000 Baha’is find themselves in serious jeopardy.
As President Obama tries to tackle the troubling issue of America’s relations with Iran, he should keep the prayer for America that has been officially enshrined in Baha’i prayer books as his moral compass:
“Oh, God, let this American democracy become glorious in spiritual degrees and render this just government victorious. Confirm this revered nation to upraise the standard of the oneness of humanity, to promulgate the Most Great Peace, to become thereby most glorious and praiseworthy among all the nations of the world. Oh, God, this American nation is worthy of Thy favors and is deserving of Thy mercy.”
The prayer itself was delivered in Chicago on April 30, 1912, by ‘Abdu’l-Baha, the son of the prophet-founder of the Baha’i faith, Baha’u’llah, who was visiting the United States at the behest of the nascent Baha’i community in America. Since then, the Baha’i community has been able to flourish in America because of the protections granted by our Constitution. Continue reading “Flashback: Baha’is on Trial” »