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Oil prices surged today to $50 per barrel, after OPEC and Russia reached what the oil producing cartel described as "a historic agreement" in Vienna. Under the deal, their output will be reduced by 1.2 million barrels per day starting in January, the first time since 2008 that OPEC nations have agreed to cut production.


One unprecedented aspect of the deal is that Russia, a non-member state, has agreed to cut its own production by 300,000 barrels daily. Saudi Arabia, the cartel's biggest producer, will take the biggest cut, with a reduction of 486,000 barrels, bringing its daily output to just above 10 million barrels.


The agreement is also an important victory for Iran. Saudi Arabia's rival, which is still recovering from international sanctions, will actually increase its production to 3.8 million barrels a day. More importantly, the Vienna meeting showed that OPEC, which many observers believed was rapidly losing relevance, was capable of pulling off a major deal with global implications.


Still, for all the triumphalism, the agreement relies solely on the members' self-compliance, and there's reason to believe that not all countries will be sticking to the agreed cuts, especially those struggling economically. Either way, the latest events are a reminder that greasing the wheels of the global economy requires coordination — and negotiation.

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Geopolitics

Why The 'Perfect Storm' Of Iran's Protests May Be Unstoppable

The latest round of anti-regime protests in Iran is different than other in the 40 years of the Islamic Republic: for its universality and boldness, the level of public fury and grief, and the role of women and social media. The target is not some policy or the economy, but the regime itself.

A woman holds a lock of her hair during a London rally to protest the murder of Mahsa Amini in London

Roshanak Astaraki

-Analysis-

The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Tehran on Sept. 16, after a possible beating at a police station, has sparked outrage and mass protests in Iran and abroad. There have been demonstrations and a violent attempt to suppress them in more than 100 districts in every province of Iran.

These protests may look like others since 2017, and back even to 1999 — yet we may be facing an unprecedented turning point in Iranians' opposition to the Islamic Republic. Indeed newly installed conservative President Ibrahim Raisi could not have expected such momentum when he set off for a quick trip to New York and back for a meeting of the UN General Assembly.

For one of the mistakes of a regime that takes pride in dismissing the national traditions of Iran is to have overlooked the power of grief among our people.

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