The main items of Middle East coverage in the UK media today deal with issues related to the Iranian nuclear programme. The Daily Telegraph and Reuters run pieces asking if Iran could make good on its threat to close the Straits of Hormuz. The Financial Times and Reuters note that Asian countries are beginning to reduce their purchases of Iranian crude oil. The paper also notes that the issue of Iran has come up in the US Republican primaries. The Scotsman notes voices in the Arab world calling for a no fly zone over Syria. The Jewish Chronicle, Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent, and BBC Online report the indictment of former-prime minister Ehud Olmert on charges related to the construction of the Holyland building in Jerusalem. The Economist has a piece on the Israeli high-tech sector and an article discussing the election results in Egypt. Reuters notes the Arab League’s plan to keep its monitors in Syria. BBC Online also reports Israel’s banning of twelve Jewish settlers from entering the West Bank. The Daily Mail and the Independent report remarks by Defence Secretary Philip Hammond suggesting that Britain would take military action to prevent Iran blocking the Persian Gulf to cut off oil supplies. The New Statesman has a piece on the Hariri Tribunal in Lebanon.
In the Israeli media, Haaretz notes police denials that they maintain ‘provocateurs’ among the West Bank settlers. The paper, along with Ma’ariv, also reports plans to hold a second round of Israeli-Palestinian talks next week, and has a piece on a joint US-Israeli missile defence exercise. The Jerusalem Post notes plans to build a Red Sea ‘electronic fence’ to foil terror attacks. Ynetnews notes a statement by a US State Department official that the Muslim Brotherhood will abide by its peace treaty with Israel. Ynetnews also notes the stoning of buses by a group of Ultra-Orthodox rioters in Jerusalem yesterday. Israel Hayom has a piece predicting a ‘super-spike’ in oil prices if Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz.