US Opinion and Commentary

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A Reality Check on Iran

Posted March 1st, 2016 at 1:47 pm (UTC-5)
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We must not let our natural—and laudable—hopes for liberalization in Iran blind us to what is really happening. Have we already forgotten that just six weeks ago ten American sailors were on their knees with Iranian guns pointed at their heads?

Turnout Key to Iran Election Strategy

Posted February 23rd, 2016 at 1:16 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin Election Day in Iran is this Friday and the country’s leaders are urging Iranians to vote in large numbers, even though the candidates exclude key members of the embattled reform movement and the governing bodies being chosen have limited power within Iran’s hybrid political system. Voters are to select a new 290-member […]

Shifting Alliances

Posted January 19th, 2016 at 4:04 pm (UTC-5)
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One of the many ripple effects of the U.S.-Iran prisoner swap and Tehran’s verified compliance with the historic nuclear accord is a new world order in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia – a long-time rival of Tehan – is nervous and talking tough, as the lifting of costly Western sanctions is set to propel Iran’s economic might. Not long before the latest developments, Saudi Arabia had already stoked tensions by beheading the prominent Shia cleric Sheik Nimr al-Nimr. That provoked a violent attack on the Saudi mission in Iran, which in turn, gave the House of Saud a reason to sever diplomatic ties. Meanwhile, both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry hailed the use of diplomacy to win the release of five Americans in a prisoner swap with Iran, simultaneously praising Tehtan for pausing its nuclear program. Where does all this leave the traditional, and sometimes co-dependent, U.S.-Saudi relationship? Making friends with Iran was a big gamble. It appears the Obama administration believes the benefits outweigh the costs.

Hold Iran Nuclear Negotiators to Their Word

Posted July 1st, 2015 at 9:35 am (UTC-5)
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Two years ago, the Obama administration set out to achieve a deal that would dismantle key elements of Iran’s nuclear program, freeze uranium enrichment for at least a decade, and beef up international inspections to ensure that Iran is not building a nuclear weapon. That was a deal worth pursuing — and it still is.