Iran’s deadly wave of protests has taken the government and security forces by surprise.
Tensions between Iran and the United States are escalating rapidly. Over the weekend, Iranian and U.S. navy warships engaged in yet another round of shadow boxing in Persian Gulf. Last week Congress slapped additional sanctions on individuals and companies associated with Iran’s ballistic missile program and support for terrorism. Iran, in response, test-fired a rocket into space. Forces backed by Washington and Tehran continue to wage proxy wars across the Middle East from Syria to Yemen.
President Donald Trump’s attempt to bring peace and stability to the Middle East has backfired. He has put a major U.S. ally, Qatar, in a geopolitical crisis and damaged his cabinet’s efforts to calm regional tensions. Trump’s recent trip to the area was intended to bring together like-minded Arab states and Israel to hold the line against Iran. That effort has instead divided longstanding American allies. Soon after Trump left the region, several Arab states led by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, a key enabler of regional U.S. military operations. One of the primary reasons for this rebuke was Qatar's refusal to buy into the narrative that Iran must be isolated from its neighbors.
On May 19, Iranians go to the polls to either re-elect President Hassan Rouhani to a second term or give one of his reactionary opponents a chance to govern, and in doing so ride the populist wave that seems to have engulfed much of the globe.
President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, former Exxon Mobil chairman Rex Tillerson, faces his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday. Having surrounded himself mostly with retired generals for national security positions, the president-elect has chosen someone with no previous government experience to be the nation’s chief diplomat. But it would be a mistake for foreign policy experts and political pundits to dismiss him for that reason.
Donald Trump has nominated Exxon Mobil chairman and chief executive officer Rex Tillerson to serve as his secretary of state. Having surrounded himself mostly with retired generals for national security positions, the president-elect has chosen someone with no previous government experience to be the nation’s chief diplomat. But it would be a mistake for foreign policy experts and political pundits to dismiss him for that reason.
Vladimir Putin has made an art of turning weakness into strength. As Russian and Syrian forces pound Aleppo in the biggest assault of Syria’s five-year civil war, the Russian president clearly has emerged as a dominant force in the Middle East. Two years ago Russia had virtually no presence in the region, aside from a naval base in Syria. Today Moscow’s fighter jets and missiles fly over Syrian, Iranian and Iraqi airspace.
It has been one year since Iran, the United States and five other world powers reached a landmark deal designed to limit Tehran’s nuclear program. In exchange for curbs on its nuclear program, the United Nations lifted all nuclear-related sanctions against Iran, and the EU lifted many bilateral sanctions on Iran’s banking and energy sectors.
This week, Hillary Clinton made history by becoming the first female nominee for president of a major American political party. In doing so, she fended off a serious threat from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed socialist who has become a titanic force in the Democratic Party.
When Saudi Arabia's King Salman replaced his oil minister and reshuffled his cabinet on Saturday, he did so with the goal of executing an audacious plan to transform the country’s economy. “Saudi Vision 2030,” the brainchild of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, seeks to end the Kingdom’s oil addiction and improve government transparency and efficiency.