IRAN: Authorities’ reaction to an online video featuring Pharrell William’s song “Happy”, which was produced and published on YouTube by young Iranians, dealt another domestic blow to Rohani’s administration. The cyber-crime unit, which is firmly in the hand of hardliners, ordered the arrest of six Iranians who were involved in the video’s production. The actions were motivated by the hardliners’ aim to tarnish President Rohani’s image in Iran and to call into question his credibility within the international community.
Regional development: discussions between Iran and Saudi Arabia on key foreign policy issues concerning Bahrain, Lebanon and Yemen (For more information on Iran’s willingness to negotiate with Saudi Arabia, please contact 5 Dimensions directly).
Bahrain: Informal talks between the government and the main opposition party, al-Wefaq, continue. According to a well-placed government source, negotiations with representatives of al-Wefaq are taking place in order to reach some form of reconciliation.
Yemen: Yemeni military have taken control of Seiyun in response to the attack on numerous government buildings by AQAP militants