Irina Tsukerman

Turkey’s “Defense Line”: An Ideological Front

| February 14, 2020

Turkey’s latest moves in Libya and the eastern Mediterranean should be viewed in the context of the recent Kuala Lumpur Summit, which announced the emergence of a new ideological bloc to counter Saudi Arabia consisting of Iran, Turkey, Qatar, and Malaysia. Turkey’s new geopolitical strategy is as much ideological as it is “defensive.”


Why No Deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran Will Ever Last

| October 24, 2019

Rumors of an impending meeting between Iran’s President Rouhani and President Trump have quieted down somewhat amidst the uprisings in Iran and Iraq and the sudden US foreign policy reversal on Syria, which paved the way for Turkey’s incursion and bombardment of northern Syria. The attack has been described by Erdoğan as an offensive against the YPG, and widely condemned as a betrayal by the US of its Kurdish allies. However, while much attention has been paid to the apparently impulsive and uncoordinated last-minute decision to withdraw a small remnant of the US contingent from Syria, few are discussing the events unfolding in Iran and Iraq, with the latest news including Iran’s decision to send 7,500 troops to Iraq.


Echoes of the Muslim Brotherhood “Arab Spring” in Post-Bashir Sudan

| August 6, 2019

Post-Bashir Sudan is being proclaimed a new “Arab Spring” by many who failed to grasp the meaning of the first. And just as occurred the first time, the failure to distinguish among interests and actors is hindering understanding of the movement.


Towards an Arab NATO?

| July 27, 2018

The Arab Coalition in Yemen is facing three internal challenges: differences between Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, Qatari meddling, and recent tensions between Saudi Arabia and Morocco. Despite these complications, new developments show that over the long run there is a likelihood of a strategic response to the stalemate in Yemen and to other Iran-related problems in the form of an upgrading of the scattered and divided Arab Coalition into a formal and organized infrastructure similar to NATO.


What Morocco’s Break with Iran Means

| June 22, 2018

Iran’s recent moves against Morocco’s national sovereignty reflect its intention to continue on its path towards global domination by destabilizing pro-Western countries. Tehran is shifting its attention towards Africa, which is less on the Western radar following the American withdrawal from the JCPOA.


Tehran’s Dangerous Yemen Game

| April 23, 2018

An integral part of its sustained drive for regional hegemony, Tehran’s backing of the Houthis in Yemen, like its support for Syria’s Assad regime, is to build naval bases, gain control of strategic international waterways, terrorize Sunni populations, and turn local Shiite forces into its own private paramilitary groups to be used in special operations and terrorist attacks around the world. The Houthis are following Iran’s Hezbollah model and have gained the world’s sympathy through propaganda even as they engage in ruthless attacks on civilians both at home and in Saudi Arabia. 


The Qatar Opposition: Avoiding the Hariri Miscalculation

| March 12, 2018

The widely criticized attempted resignation by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri backfired as a political move against Iran for two reasons: first, because Hezbollah is already largely in control of the Lebanese government; and second, because the Saudis, who backed the move, have little leverage inside the country. Continuing efforts to effect similar change inside another Iran proxy, Qatar, are bound to fail for similar reasons. In order to succeed, the Saudis and their allies should build authentic relationships with potential supporters and create an environment receptive to their interests.


Breaking the Syrian Stalemate

| January 11, 2018

As the civil war in Syria winds down, ISIS is eliminated, and the chips begin to fall where they may, the aftermath appears profoundly tangled, with every imaginable interest pitted against all the others. But the situation is not unnavigable. Winners and losers are emerging, and a few wild card players are entering the fray that might disrupt the developing status quo.