Perspectives Papers

Perspectives Papers provide analysis from BESA Center research associates and other outside experts on the most important issues pertaining to Israel and the Middle East.

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Photo-Ops Notwithstanding, Iran Faces the US Alone

No. 1407
| January 15, 2020

Iran is now assessing whether it should retaliate further against the US for the targeting of Qassem Soleimani, and if so, how. Its relationships with Russia and Turkey might look warm, but they are troubled. Neither is likely to leap to Tehran’s side in its clash with the US. Israel should exploit Iran’s fissures with Russia and Turkey to its advantage.

How Qassem Soleimani Forced Donald Trump Back into the Middle East

No. 1406
| January 15, 2020

Qassem Soleimani was emboldened by the US administration’s failure to respond to repeated Iranian efforts to destabilize the Persian Gulf—so much so that he felt it was safe to attack Americans directly in Iraq. President Trump, who so recently was eager to leave the Middle East, ordered the killing of Soleimani in retaliation—drawing the US back into the Middle East.

The Killing of Soleimani and Iran’s Nuclear Program

No. 1405

Tehran has announced it is withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal following the killing by the US of Quds commander Qassem Soleimani. It also stated, however, that it will continue to cooperate with the IAEA and expressed its willingness to return to the deal if the economic sanctions are lifted. This suggests that despite its repeated violations of the nuclear deal over the past year, Iran is reluctant to escalate conflict.

The Soleimani Killing and Left-Liberals

No. 1404
| January 14, 2020

Many in the West have expressed great dismay at the killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani. Such responses to the removal of perhaps the world’s leading terrorist seem to suggest that the democratic West has descended into decadence. If that is the case, it is worth examining the extent to which the liberal-left dominance of much of Western public discourse is undermining the stability of democracy itself.

Democrats Challenge Trump’s Authority to Conduct Military Operations Against Iran

No. 1403
| January 13, 2020

The US House of Representatives has passed a resolution, initiated by the Democrats, to restrict President Donald Trump’s ability to conduct military operations against Iran. If approved by the Senate, the resolution could adversely affect the US campaign to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power and other important security issues in the Middle East.    

Takeaways from the US Impeachment Imbroglio

No. 1402
| January 13, 2020

The three impeachments to date in US history (Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump) and the Nixon impeachment inquiry and resulting presidential resignation shed light on the current Constitutional meaning of impeachment and how it will affect the future relationship between Congress and the executive branch.  Impeachment and conviction as a check by Congress on the president may have been eliminated altogether. The American people no longer trust their political institutions, processes, or politicians to provide accountability.

Soleimani’s Death Opens Door to Alternative Security Arrangements in the Gulf

No. 1400
| January 12, 2020

The killing by the US of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani has widened the opening for a potential restructuring of the Gulf’s security architecture.

The Soleimani Killing: Trump’s New Approach to the War on Terror

No. 1399
| January 12, 2020

Soft power and coercive diplomacy tools have not worked for almost 20 years against “peaceful Iran” (as Obama used to call it), and America has opted instead to exercise hard power. Trump’s order to kill Qassem Soleimani exposes once again the vast gap between the US and Europe on the problem of Iran.

The Iraq Uprising: Where Does It Go From Here?

No. 1398
| January 10, 2020

The killing of Qassem Soleimani could prove to be a turning point in the history of the Middle East as a whole, but first and foremost in Iraq. That country has been contending for months with a popular uprising that has produced chaos and turned it into an arena for a titanic battle between Iran and the US.

Iran Seeks to End Direct Clash with US and Return to Asymmetric Comfort Zone

No. 1397
| January 9, 2020

Tehran doesn’t want outright war. It is sticking to the long game in its goal of ejecting US forces from the region and completing its takeover of neighboring Iraq.