The Week in Review: December 29th – January 5th

Jan. 5 – A senior Houthi official, Mohammad Abdul Salam has thanked Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian for the Iranian regime’s “strong” support of Palestinians during the Israel-Hamas war.

The officials met on Jan. 1 in Tehran, to discuss a range of issues and regional security matters. Abdul Salam also thanked Abdollahian for the regime’s support for the Axis of Resistance, an informal anti-Israel and anti-Western political and military coalition led by the Islamic Republic.

The Axis of Resistance includes Syria, and Iran regime-funded armed groups such as Hamas, the Houthis and Lebanese Hezbollah.

Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Taliban’s Foreign Minister, called for greater economic ties with Iran on Jan. 2, in a bid to make Afghanistan a regional transit hub.

Despite some signs of economic stability in 2023, Afghanistan is facing a financial crisis, with 69 percent of its population now living in poverty.

The relationship between the Shia-Muslim Iranian regime and the Sunni-Muslim Taliban has been marked with periods of tension, including an ongoing dispute over water supplies in the region.

And Iran became an official member of the geopolitical bloc BRICS this week, named after the founding countries of Brazil, Russia, India, and China.

The bloc, which focuses on the global economy and financial institutions, is seen as a rival to the G7 bloc, whose members include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Islamic Republic called the membership an important milestone for Iran, which it believes will allow it to challenge the United States as a global superpower and increase trade.

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