There’s no need to be surprised by reports that envoys from Saudi Arabia and Iran have been negotiating in secret in Baghdad. Nor by the fact that the negotiations have been vigorously denied. Nor that the Saudi crown prince now has uncommonly constructive things to say (and on the record) about his country’s possible future relationship with Iran.Continue reading
So great is America’s identity crisis in this century of isolationism, that its citizens have spent last week and this one bickering among themselves about whether the United States should retaliate when it is attacked by an avowed enemy.Continue reading
In Iraq’s cities, the streets are full of demonstrators, and the country is convulsed by the violence inflicted upon those who protest against its dysfunctional state.
The violence is attributed to the Iraqi state, to killers among the militias which dominate Iraqi national life, and to agents of Iranian influence, whose decades-long role in influencing Iraqi politics has been increasingly exposed in recent months, and clearly unpopular among Iraqis. Continue reading
The events surrounding the resignation of Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi were atypical. His country witnessed uncommon protests against not only the dysfunction of Iraq’s government and political life but also the stake Iran has in the running of the neighbouring nation. Continue reading
Since the beginning of October, Iraq has been convulsed by protests. The causes of the demonstrations are various and have been exacerbated by extreme repression. But one consistent complaint of those on the streets is Iranian control over Iraq’s government, and the seeming capture of Iraqi society by Iranian interests. Continue reading
When they started at the beginning of October, protests in Iraq were attributed to general malaise in government and, crucially, the dismissal of Lieutenant-General Abdel-Wahab al-Saadi, a popular counterterrorism officer who had notably fought against the Islamic State. Continue reading
As the drawn-out confrontation between the United States and Iran continues and becomes seemingly more intense, the thoughts of many have turned to war. Continue reading
US President Donald Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 16, in a summit that has been likely since Trump entered office last year.
They will discuss Syria. Russia and the United States have interacted inconsistently there. Where once it was thought that Trump would follow the Russian line on Syria’s civil conflict, events have proven more complex. Continue reading
Elections are wonderful things. Despite the calculated duplicity which campaigning for the vote requires, and despite their association with politicians, elections remind voters – and observers around the world – that ordinary people, individually and together, can affect the futures of the societies in which they live. Continue reading
In its eighth year, the Syrian conflict appears to be entering a new stage.
Foreign support for the regime of Bashar Assad, provided by Iran and its proxies and Russia, appears to have saved it from collapse. Its survival, in the immediate term, is no longer under threat. Continue reading