Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
GIS Dossier: Autumn of the patriarchs
In many parts of the world, the outlook for political stability in 2018 will depend on aging, often long-serving politicians. Some are senescent leaders trying to manage a generational transition, others have caught their second wind and are bracing for a long run. Here is a short list of rulers who are losing their grip, handling tricky successions, or building their legacies with a late burst of vigor. They are a key human element in geopolitics.
The contours of a future Middle East emerge
Events are moving fast in the Middle East. The hoped-for rapprochement between Russia and the U.S. that could bring an end to the war in Syria appears to have collapsed. Growing tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia could spark a war at any moment. But the most explosive issue for this region of minorities is the prospect of independence for Iraqi Kurdistan.
GIS Dossier: Iran’s rise
Iran has methodically built up its influence in the Middle East to become one of the most important powers in the region. It has a growing foothold in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Qatar. Its rise has inflamed tensions with Saudi Arabia, while a nascent rapprochement with the U.S. has withered under President Donald Trump. It is stepping up military interventions abroad, but remains deeply divided at home. This edition of our Dossier series reviews how Iran got here and our experts’ predictions about what this means for the region and the world.
Iranians at odds as succession looms
Hassan Rouhani’s reelection as Iran’s president was greeted with euphoria by his reform-minded supporters, but has only sharpened divisions in a deeply polarized country. Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei may be frail and ailing, but he still dominates the Islamic Republic, and his conservative supporters are well-positioned to steer any succession. The new U.S. administration’s attempts to isolate Iran will only strengthen them.
Trump’s Middle East blueprint: an Israeli view
Donald Trump took a scattershot approach to the Middle East in his election campaign. At times, he advocated greater involvement, at others he leaned toward isolationism. On balance, however, the new president will have no choice but to jettison Barack Obama’s policy of disengagement. The most probable outcome is active intervention.
Beyond US declinism: President Obama’s final showdown with Congress
Presidents of the United States, late in their second terms, are usually viewed as lame ducks. Yet Mr Barack Obama, with only 18 months remaining in office, has regained the initiative. President Obama long ago failed to live up to the hopes of reuniting American society raised by his first campaign. The deepening divide ...
The implications of Iran’s growing influence in the Middle East
The prospects of an imminent historic agreement with Iran on its nuclear programme are having major repercussions across the Middle East. Iran is emboldened and sees itself playing a major role as it is welcomed back into the international community. The six Gulf Cooperation Countries feel threatened and abandoned by US foreign policy which has been weak and incons...
Iran’s Geneva agreement could be key to resolving Middle East conflicts and terrorism
Agreement between the six global powers and Iran in November 2013 could be essential to Iran reclaiming its natural role as the power in the region. The United States has played an astute game and could achieve a hat-trick of wins gaining influence, reducing the power of Russia and China and winning new deals as Iran opens for business. Europe must wake up to this ...
Sense of expectation over nuclear talks with Iran
The first talks between the presidents of the United States and Iran in 30 years raised expectations for the October 2013 discussions over Iran’s nuclear programme. The five plus one group and Iran’s foreign minister have described detailed discussions in positive terms and meet again in November. That is when the new rapprochement will be tested. ...