Middle East

Is Iran following Russia’s lead in Syria?

Foreign ministers, Sergei Lavrov (C) of Russia, Mevlut Cavusoglu (R) of Turkey and Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran, attend a news conference in Moscow, Russia, December 20, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov - RTX2VUYG

Hamidreza Azizi wrote this week that Moscow’s Syria strategy includes helping “Iran and Turkey find common ground on the Syrian crisis and then [it can] concentrate its efforts on further proceeding with a political solution together with Turkey. Week in Review Al Monitor As such, it could be argued that Iran’s current approach toward the Syrian issue is effectively pursued through the gates of Russia.” Azizi added that because… Is Iran following Russia’s… Read More »

The Observer view on Turkey and Putin’s malign patronage

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blames the US for many of his country’s troubles but we must be wary of his closer ties with Russia Observer editorial The Guardian Little noticed amid the uproar over last week’s terrorist attacks in Izmir and Istanbul has been Turkey’s linked escalation of a The Observer view… Read More »

Turkey’s collapse has been years in the making

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Washington: An exotic country goes up in flames and the world turns elsewhere for an alternate holiday destination. Paul McGeough  The Courier But in researching the chaos of our times, historians likely will keep coming back to Turkey, to pick apart an explosive collision of destructive forces, in… Turkey’s collapse has… Read More »

Lebanon set to join East Mediterranean race for oil and gas

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Lebanon will auction energy-development rights to five offshore areas and adopt production-sharing contracts to attract international investors as the tiny country seeks to join a regional race to tap oil and gas wealth in the… Written by Bloomberg Energy Voice The government may qualify more bidders for its… Lebanon set to… Read More »

The Ottoman Empire and Libertarianism

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Every so often libertarians ask, in a speculative mode, whether the re-establishment of the Ottoman Empire would not be a formula for peace in the troubled Middle East. Notes On Liberty The question is interesting on several counts, one of which is that the regions affected by the… The Ottoman Empire… Read More »

Why Russia, Turkey and Iran are natural allies

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­ The ceasefire in Syria brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran has opened the way to peace talks in Kazakhstan between the Syrian government and opposition. Adrian Campbell The Conversation The Kazakh president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, will play peacemaker and the timing of the… Why Russia, Turkey… Read More »

Russia starts scaling down Syria military deployment

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Russia’s military on Jan. 6 said it has begun scaling back its deployment to Syria, with Moscow’s sole aircraft carrier ordered to leave the conflict zone first. Hurriyet MOSCOW – Agence France–Presse “In accordance with the decision of the supreme commander of the Russian armed forces Vladimir Putin, the… Russia starts scaling… Read More »

Why Iran Wants So Many Ballistic Missiles

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Iran and the West both see a terrifying threat on the other side. Farhad Rezaei The National Interest Unlike Iran’s nuclear program, the country’s arsenal of ballistic missiles has received only scant scholarly attention. At best… Why Iran Wants… Read More »

Elor Azaria case: ‘No hope of equality before the law’

Israel - Al Jazeera

Israeli soldier convicted of killing wounded Palestinian is expected to receive a lenient sentence later this month. Jonathan Cook Al Jazeera News Nazareth – It was the trial almost no one in Israel wanted. Last March, army Elor Azaria case… Read More »

Guéhenno to Trump: You Cannot ‘just crush’ ISIS

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Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Crisis Group’s President and CEO, speaks to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour about the international challenges that are likely to persist in 2017 and the growing need for robust international structures to meet the… ICG In a broad discussion with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, the… Guéhenno to Trump… Read More »

Erdogan’s Turkey is no ally of the United States.

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Among Donald Trump’s odd fixations are foreign strongmen. They are a reality and must be dealt with. Doug Bandow The American Spectator Sometimes they can and do aid U.S. policy. But just because they are quick to toss opponents into jail doesn’t mean that they necessarily are the sort of decisive leaders Washington should back. On Election… Erdogan’s Turkey is… Read More »

What Will Assad Do Next?

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The pictures and footage coming out of Eastern Aleppo are absolutely horrifying. Daniel R. DePetris The National Interest In fact, horrifying may be too tepid a word; genocidal or apocalyptic is more like it. Four years of intense… What Will Assad Do… Read More »

Could an Embassy in Jerusalem Bring Us Closer to Peace?

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As President-elect Donald J. Trump prepares to assume office, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been forced onto his agenda by President Obama’s decision to have the United States abstain on United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned Israeli settlements. Martin Indyk The New York Times Mr. Trump has repeatedly declared his desire to make peace between Israelis and Palestinians, saying he viewed it as the “ultimate deal.” But he has also pledged to… Could an Embassy in… Read More »

If Trump overrules nuclear deal, Iran may turn to ISIS

ISIS - Asia Times

With Rouhani’s government the best hope for stability, the incoming US administration should think twice about tearing up the JCPOA agreement Farhad Rezaei Asia Times President-elect Donald Trump seems likely to introduce a sea change in American foreign policy. Short on specifics If Trump overrules… Read More »

How Istanbul nightclub attack was linked to Turkey’s culture war

People wave Turkish flags and hold a black banner during a gathering in front of the Reina nightclub, which was attacked by a gunman, in Istanbul, Turkey January 3, 2017. The banner reads: "We will not give up! For our future". REUTERS/Murad Sezer - RTX2XC6K

On New Year’s Eve, many Turks, including myself, were hoping to begin a less bloody and less depressing year than 2016. Mustafa Akyol Al Monitor It took only one hour and 15 minutes, however, for 2017 to present its first carnage. A lone gunman, later… How Istanbul nightclub attack… Read More »

Istanbul was our past, Istanbul is our future

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This attack is on the culture of tolerance, on the pluralism of Muslim countries that is represented in Istanbul. Hamid Dabashi Al  Jazeera News I have now blissfully forgotten how many times I have visited Istanbul, or why is it I feel so much at home there. Last time I was… Istanbul was our… Read More »