US Opinion and Commentary

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How Obama Can One-Up Putin in the Syria Crisis: Support an Independent Kurdistan

Posted October 1st, 2015 at 12:12 pm (UTC-5)
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If Obama wants to get ahead of ominous developments in Syria for once, he should consider throwing U.S. support behind an independent Kurdistan, one that is carved out from the decaying husks of Syria and Iraq.

Obama and Putin Struggle to Find a Way Forward on Syria

Posted September 29th, 2015 at 12:09 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin (New York) — More than a year after their last uncomfortable encounter, the presidents of the United States and Russia have managed to conduct a lengthy and civil discussion about the issue dominating this year’s U.N. General Assembly – the multisided, devastating civil war in Syria. Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin spoke […]

Jason Rezaian’s Case Proves Iran Still Can’t Be Trusted

Posted September 25th, 2015 at 10:40 am (UTC-5)
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Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called him “a good reporter” and said, more than seven months ago, “I hope he will be cleared in a court of law. . . . I hope once the court process is completed, we will have a clear-cut case or we will have his acquittal.” Instead, we have continuing lawless limbo

Rouhani Wins on Nuclear Deal. Struggles on Human Rights

Posted September 23rd, 2015 at 2:53 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin With Iranian President Hassan Rouhani about to arrive in New York, hopes are fading for the release of Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian during this year’s U.N. General Assembly. In the past, Iranian officials have freed political prisoners before the annual diplomatic gabfest. But this could well be the second General Assembly […]

A Modest Proposal: Pay Iran to Take Syria’s Refugees

Posted September 21st, 2015 at 11:17 am (UTC-5)
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It would enable Iran to brag of its tolerance in accepting non-Shiite, non-Muslim, and non-Persian refugees. It would embarrass the Gulf states, which have also taken in no refugees in spite of their wealth and direct responsibility for the conflict. And it would earn Iran some much-needed hard cash.

Like it or Not, America and Russia Need to Cooperate in Syria

Posted September 17th, 2015 at 11:43 am (UTC-5)
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The expansion of Russia’s military role in Syria has real risks. Both Russian political and military leaders and the Russian people still remember Afghanistan … Another risk is a potential collision with the United States and its allies, who have long been striking IS targets in Syria and who can also bomb Assad’s forces

Saudi-Iran Talks Key to Resolving Middle East Wars

Posted September 16th, 2015 at 4:32 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin As desperate migrants from wars in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East keep pouring onto the European continent, it is hard to imagine diplomatic solutions that can diminish this massive exodus anytime soon. But if the wars are ever to end, one prerequisite is a willingness on the part of […]

How the Iran Deal Became the Most Strategic Success of Obama’s Presidency

Posted September 16th, 2015 at 9:45 am (UTC-5)
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A weak president Obama may be. But a paradox of his presidency is that he has been at his toughest in fighting for the Iran nuclear deal against Netanyahu, the leader of one of America’s closest allies.

Iran Thumbs its Nose at the United States

Posted September 15th, 2015 at 9:33 am (UTC-5)
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As President Obama was busy twisting congressional arms to prevent repudiation of the agreement, the Iranian regime has been systematically humiliating him.

Peril and Opportunity: The Nuclear Deal and the Expansion of Iranian Influence

Posted September 10th, 2015 at 12:13 pm (UTC-5)
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The U.S. needs a strategic partner in the region that is not a non-state actor, and with the rise of ISIS, Iran is seemingly the only regional player with enough vested interests to ensure a lasting presence to combat the growing threat. Prior to the signing of the nuclear deal, the U.S. and Iran demonstrated a mutual interest, defeating ISIS. The deal strengthens this partnership by giving Iran what it wanted, a nuclear program, and what the U.S. needed- a strong regional player.

A Done Deal, Debate on Iran Turns to Implementation

Posted September 9th, 2015 at 4:29 pm (UTC-5)
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The Iran nuclear deal and Congress’s impending vote has become the most contentious foreign policy issue since the decision to invade Iraq in 2003. President Obama has the votes he needs, but the debate continues. Republican presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Ted Cruz held a rally against the deal at the Capitol, just a few hours after Democratic contender Hillary Clinton shared how she would ensure Tehran’s compliance: “Distrust and verify.”

A Side Agreement Could Void the Iran Deal

Posted September 7th, 2015 at 8:39 am (UTC-5)
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For Congress to vote on the merits of the agreement without the opportunity to review all of its aspects would both effectively sanction the president’s unconstitutional conduct and be a major policy mistake.

Iran Deal Is Win-Win

Posted August 31st, 2015 at 10:06 am (UTC-5)
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By zeroing in on the nuclear issue, the Obama administration took on the most dangerous threat posed by the Iranian regime and brought together the international community around the issue that most united it in opposition to Tehran.

Congress, Don’t Isolate America Again Over Iran

Posted August 27th, 2015 at 10:20 am (UTC-5)
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Our efforts to reach this deal have affirmed the view of the United States as a tough but principled leader; rejecting it would be read in many quarters as a superpower intent on inflicting pain for its own sake.

Enforcing the Iran Deal: Another Gaping Hole

Posted August 26th, 2015 at 4:33 pm (UTC-5)
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Americans have debated whether the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) gives inspectors sufficient visibility into suspected, undisclosed Iranian activities, and whether, in the event of Iranian breach, sanctions will snapback.  But there’s a bigger problem: the Joint Plan grants Iran and friends grounds to exclude from snapback sanctions long-term sales of Iranian oil and gas, […]