Opinion: Jerusalem recognition narrows U.S. options on Iran
President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has hurt U.S. efforts to build a Sunni alliance against Iran. Given the risk of a region-wide conflict erupting near the Golan Heights or in southern Lebanon, its timing was also unfortunate. However, there could be a deeper logic behind the move.
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.
Iraq: between democracy and failed state
Iraqi democracy has been more or less written off by the West. Combating its political gridlock, sectarianism and corruption will be harder than defeating Daesh. The best way Baghdad can start solving these problems is to strike a deal to retake Mosul.
Walls: a symbol of decline
Donald Trump is using the imaginary threat posed by Mexican immigrants to scare voters, and has proposed building a wall on the southern border of the United States. The EU’s deal with Turkey on refugees serves a similar purpose, as do the fences now being built in several European countries.
Let’s play make-believe: Hollande and France’s ‘security pact’
After the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, French President Francois Hollande was quick to announce that his new centrepiece policy would be a ‘security pact,’ which will take priority over the European ‘stability pact.’ The strategy’s prospects of success for creating greater security in France look bleak. However, there may also have been politic...
Regional powers play with fire in Yemen
Islamic militants versus Islamic militants? The inventiveness of extremists when it comes to the wars they are waging in the Middle East and Africa seems inexhaustible. We may have thought that Islamic State was the last threshold of barbarism and the breakdown of traditional state structures. Now, however, even as the group metastasises in Libya, the Sinai Peninsu...
Persecution of Christians around the globe is rising, a special report on a dangerous issue
The Islamic State terrorist attack, in which almost 40 holidaymakers were killed in Tunisia, accompanied by atrocities in France and Kuwait, highlights again the murderous outrages the group is willing to commit. Christians have been in the firing line of the IS terrorists and othr terror groups in the Middle East and the rest of the globe.
Economic opportunity is the cornerstone to French integration
The terrorist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo editorial offices and a Jewish supermarket in Paris, in which a total of 17 people were killed in January 2015, shone the spotlight on ethnic integration in France. Some French suburbs have become no-go areas for police and educational standards have crashed as some people face a life with little chance of achievement or r...
Turkey’s internal struggle has regional foreign policy implications
Internal domestic issues are weakening Turkey’s crucial geopolitical standing in the Middle East and the region. This is adding to the uncertainty of a geopolitical vacuum developing in the region as some see the United States stepping down its interests. Turkey's strength is its pivotal geostrategic position and its role, but time is not on its side. ...
Morsi - future Pharaoh or transitional figure?
President Mohamed Morsi is a figure the West finds hard to evaluate. But, there is only one Mr Morsi and he has only one policy - the West just does not understand what it is. This report looks at Egypt’s president, examines his commitment to the Muslim Brotherhood and considers what factors are motivating his policies. ...