UN special envoy  Staffan de Mistura  announcing at a press conference in Geneva on Monday that Syrian peace talks are to begin on Friday. Photograph:  Denis Balibouse/Reuters

Talks between the Syrian government and opposition groups aimed at ending the country’s near five-year-old ci vil war are to begin on Friday, UN speci(...)

Protesters clash with riot police in Cairo, January 2011. Photograph: Ben Curtis/AP Photo

“I participated in the January revolution,” Egyptians have boasted on social media ahead of today, January 25th, the fifth anniversary of the first da(...)

US secretary of state John Kerry   with Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu: Asked if he was concerned that a delay might lead to a loss of momentum, Mr Kerry  said: “There is not going to be a fundamental delay.” Photograph: Jacquelyn Martin/AFP/Getty Images

Talks to end Syria’s civil war may be slightly delayed but are expected to go ahead next week, US secretary of state John Kerry said yesterday. They (...)

Children stand next to a burnt-outvehicle during during clases in Mosul in June 2014 between Iraqi security forces and Islamic State. The terror group’s revenues are reported to have fallen from a peak of €2 billion in that year. Photograph: Reuters

Islamic State has cut by half the salaries of its fighters and employees due to “exceptional circumstances”, the terrorist group’s treasury ministry h(...)

A Free Syrian Army fighter places a shell before firing it towards Islamic State fighters in the northern Aleppo countryside, Syria.  Aleppo’s eastern quarters are held by insurgents while Isis has a presence in the countryside east and south of the city.   Photograph: Reuters

US secretary of state John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov are due to meet in Zurich on Wednesday to try to settle differences between(...)

Expectations have been high in Tehran and western capitals over Iran’s reintegration in the global economy, with European businessmen rushing to Tehran to propose deals. Above: a man drives a motorcycle in Tehran.  Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A punitive sanctions regime progressively imposed on Iran over the past decade could begin to lift as early as Monday, if the International Atomic Ene(...)

UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura (left) and Iran’s deputy foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian arrive for a meeting in Tehran. Photograph: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

UN envoy Staffan de Mistura has wound up a regional tour with assurances from both Iran and Saudi Arabia that regional tensions will not affect their(...)

Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince and defence minister  Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud with Pakistan’s army chief General Raheel Sharif Photograph: AFP Photo/Inter Services Public Relations

Disappointed over the failure of Arab League and Gulf Cooperation Council members to follow the lead of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain by cutting diplomat(...)

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has endorsed injudicious policies that could have disastrous consequences for his country and the Middle East. File photograph: Ho/AFP/Getty Images

Since assuming the Saudi throne at the end of January last year, King Salman has endorsed injudicious, even reckless, policies that could have disastr(...)

Iranian protesters set fire to the Saudi Arabia embassy on Saturday amid a backlash over the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric in Saudi Arabia. Photograph: Mohammad Reza Nadimi/EPA

The Saudi execution of dissident Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr has already deepened the regional rift between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran. Iran’s su(...)