The Diplomacy Cable 1/4/2016

Above: Map of the Persian Gulf

With the invention of the telegraph cables in the 19th century, international consulates and embassies began sending shorter encrypted telegrams using Morse Code. While the messages are now sent electronically, the moniker “cable” stuck and the term is still in use today for shorter, encrypted diplomatic messages.

An earthquake has struck India early Monday morning. The 6.8 magnitude quake hit northeast India, near its border with Myanmar and Bangladesh. At least eight people were killed and 100 injured by falling debris in Imphal and elsewhere in Manipur state, Indian police said. Media reports said five people were killed by the earthquake in neighboring Bangladesh, according to USA Today. One witness described the quake as lasting upwards of 45 seconds, a very long time for the Earth to shake underneath you.

Saudi Arabia announced it is severing diplomatic ties with Iran following Saturday’s attack by protestors on their embassy in Tehran. The attacked occurred during protests against executions that took place recently in the Gulf kingdom; of which one of those executed was a Shia religious leader. Most were accused of terror attacks in Saudi Arabia during the early and middle 2000’s. Protestors stormed the Saudi embassy and lit multiple fires inside. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ordered the arrest and prosecution of individuals involved in the embassy attack, while also condemning the execution of the religious leader, according to Al-Jazeera

Bahrain has also cut ties with Iran, increasing the fallout from Iranian protesters entering Saudi embassies and setting fires. The Gulf nation gave Iranian diplomats 48 hours to leave the country.  Bahrain accused Iran of “increasing, flagrant and dangerous meddling” in the internal affairs of Gulf and Arab states, according to BBC. Bahrain is ruled by a Sunni monarchy, but has a majority Shia population. The split over different interpretations of Islam is ever becoming more intense, as we see conflicts, including the one with ISIS, having strong sectarian divides.

A man recently shot up an Israeli pub in Tel Aviv. Police have identified the suspect as Nasha’at Melhem, 31, an Arab-Israeli who lives in northern Israel, according to CNN. Reports say that the man sprayed at least 15 bullets into the crowded pub, killing two and wounding at least 8. The man’s family states that he has had previous convictions and mental issues.

The National Association of Manufacturers endorsed President Obama’s trade agreement in the Pacific Rim. The United States’ largest manufacturing association’s support was not unexpected, but gives the Obama administration a solid boost to pressure Republican leaders to put the Trans-Pacific Partnership to a vote. The TPP is the largest regional trade and regulatory accord in U.S. history, and Obama has called it central to increasing the U.S. competitiveness in the Asia Pacific in the face of China’s rising influence, writes the Washington Post.

India is debating whether or not to have peace talks with their greatest rival, and rival nuclear power, Pakistan, following an attack on one of their air-force bases in a northern Punjab state over the weekend. Armed gunmen stormed the base, killing seven military personnel and wounding 22, reports Irish Times. 4 millitants have been killed, and others are currently being engaged by Indian security forces.

Dylan Ashdown is a second year graduate student at Seton Hall, where he is a part of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations and College of Communication and the Arts. He is pursuing dual master’s degrees in Diplomacy and International Relations and Strategic Communications. He received his undergraduate degrees from the University of Central Missouri.

Follow Dylan Ashdown on Twitter at @AshdownDylan and send any requests for stories there

Follow the Journal of Diplomacy on Twitter at @JournalofDiplo

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