Topic:

Iran

Iran and North Korea: Two Peas in a Nuclear Pod

Much separates Iran and North Korea, but the two have plenty in common when it comes to nuclear ambitions. Whenever they move to appease the West, they somehow get closer to realizing their goals, while the world fumbles to curtail them.



Israel’s Possible Paths to Nuclear War

| July 22, 2017

North Korea’s nuclearization has implications for Israel’s nuclear deterrence posture. There are several plausible means by which a nuclear conflict could arise in the Middle East. It may be time to consider a phase-out of Israel’s “deliberate nuclear ambiguity” and to focus Israeli planning around evaluations of enemy rationality.



A New “Arab Spring” in the Persian Gulf?

| July 13, 2017

The winds of war blowing between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as Iranian subversion, are destabilizing the Persian Gulf principalities. To make matters worse, the economic situation, which has worsened in recent years because of ill-advised decisions, is stoking fears of popular uprisings and widespread disturbances. These internal crises could lead to a new “Arab Spring” in which some of the Gulf monarchies might fall. The main winner would be Tehran, for which the current crisis, along with the boycott imposed on Qatar, has opened a path to a takeover of Bahrain – and Iran has already, in effect, taken over Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut, and Sana’a.



Iran Flexes Its Missile Muscles

| July 7, 2017

The lethal June 7 terror attack in Tehran that left 18 people dead was carried out by ISIS. Not unexpectedly, Iran vowed revenge. On June 17-18, this revenge materialized in the form of a volley of Iranian precision ballistic missiles fired at ISIS strongholds in the Syrian town of Deir ez-Zor. The Islamic Republic exploited the event to flex its missile muscles, a display designed to broadcast that it is a force to be reckoned with on a par with Russia and the US. It can project power hundreds of kilometers away from its borders and has the willpower and resolve to use force to promote its interests in the region.



Trump’s Air Strike on al-Tanf: No to the Shiite Crescent

| June 1, 2017

The two recent US air strikes on a Syrian convoy heading to the al-Tanf military base in the southern Syrian Desert a few miles from the Jordanian-Syrian border have major strategic importance. The attack signaled for the first time since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011 that the US would not countenance the reemergence of the Iranian-controlled Shiite crescent that Iran had created through Teheran, Baghdad, Damascus, and Beirut after the US exited Iraq in 2010.



Turkey: A Sunni Iran in the Making?

| March 22, 2017

The rising tide of an aggressive blend of nationalism and Islamism might be prompting Ankara to pursue its own WMDs, and its preference appears to be long-range missiles. As Turkey feels more threatened by real or (mostly) imagined enemies, it increasingly views maximum possible military deterrence as essential to both survival (a defensive goal) and assertiveness (an offensive one). Precise long-range missiles are unlikely, and nuclear warheads even more so. What matters is not whether Turkey can build up a dangerous arsenal but why it wants one.



Iran Is Progressing Towards Nuclear Weapons Via North Korea

This analysis argues that Iran is steadily making progress towards a nuclear weapon and is doing so via North Korea. Iran is unwilling to submit to a years-long freeze of its military nuclear program as stipulated by the July 2015 Vienna Nuclear Deal. North Korea is ready and able to provide a clandestine means of circumventing the deal, which would allow the Iranians to covertly advance that nuclear program. At the same time, Iran is likely assisting in the upgrading of certain North Korean strategic capacities.



Iran Wants to Leverage Aleppo into a Campaign Against the Gulf States and Israel

| December 30, 2016

Events in Aleppo are playing an important role in Iran’s strategic plan to establish an overland corridor that would give it access to the Mediterranean coast. Since the city’s fall, Tehran has been urging non-state groups to come under its wing in return for massive and comprehensive support. The intensification of the Shiite-Sunni conflict acts as a barrier between Iran and its potential clients.



After Aleppo: Iran’s Ascendancy and Its Implications

| December 22, 2016

Widespread moral revulsion at the horrors of the battle for Aleppo, and the aftershocks of the assassination of the Russian ambassador in Turkey, should not blind us to the dark strategic implications of the recent turn of events in Syria.



Khamenei’s Slant on WWII: Iran Must Not Go the Way of Germany and Japan

| September 28, 2016

Iran is in open conflict with the West and with Saudi Arabia too. Ayatollah Khamenei has adopted a totalitarian interpretation of Islam.This raises questions about the facile assumptions of change