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Iran's Last Siberian Crane Flies Alone

Iran's Last Siberian Crane Flies Alone

TEHRAN — What was described as the "last remaining" member of a flock of cranes that has flown to Iran from Siberia every winter was recently spotted on Iran's northern Caspian shore, confirming environmental officials' fears that the pack is virutally extinct.

This was said to be the seventh year it had flown 4,000 kilometers toward marshlands in the district of Fereydunkenar, and the daily Sharq reported that when birdwatchers no longer see this particular bird — which has been dubbed Omid in Persian, or "Hope" — "it will be the definitive end" of this migrating group, which numbered in the hundreds in the 1960s and 70s.

It stated that three such birds came to Fereydunkenar in 2007: One was shot, and one of the remaining pair may have been shot the following winter. The latter was, unfortunately, a female with which the remaining Omid could have mated.

The daily reported that Siberian cranes divide into three packs when migrating in winter, and the "western pack" comes — or rather, came — to Iran. The bird's monogamous lifestyle and the disappearance of marshes were cited as the main threats to its existence.

Photo: A Siberian crane in IndiaFrancesco Veronesi

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Why The U.S. Lost Its Leverage In The Middle East — And May Never Get It Back

In the Israel-Hamas war, Qatar now plays the key role in negotiations, while the United States appears increasingly disengaged. Shifts in the region and beyond require that Washington move quickly or risk ceding influence to China and others for the long term.

Photograph of U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken  shaking hands with sraeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

November 30, 2023, Tel Aviv, Israel: U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken shakes hands with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

Chuck Kennedy/U.S State/ZUMA
Sébastien Boussois


PARIS — Upon assuming office in 2008, then-President Barack Obama declared that United States would gradually begin withdrawing from various conflict zones across the globe, initiating a complex process that has had a major impact on the international landscape ever since.

This started with the American departure from Iraq in 2010, and was followed by Donald Trump's presidency, during which the "Make America Great Again" policy redirected attention to America's domestic interests.

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The withdrawal trend resumed under Joe Biden, who ordered the exit of U.S. forces from Afghanistan in 2021. To maintain a foothold in all intricate regions to the east, America requires secure and stable partnerships. The recent struggle in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict demonstrates that Washington increasingly relies on the allied Gulf states for any enduring influence.

Since the collapse of the Camp David Accords in 1999 during Bill Clinton's tenure, Washington has consistently supported Israel without pursuing renewed peace talks that could have led to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

While President Joe Biden's recent challenges in pushing for a Gaza ceasefire met with resistance from an unyielding Benjamin Netanyahu, they also stem from the United States' overall disengagement from the issue over the past two decades. Biden now is seeking to re-engage in the Israel-Palestine matter, yet it is Qatar that is the primary broker for significant negotiations such as the release of hostages in exchange for a ceasefire —a situation the United States lacks the leverage to enforce.

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