Russian-Iranian Strains Raise Possibility of US-Israel-Russia Deal on Syria

| June 14, 2019

With Israel set to host an unprecedented meeting of the national security advisors of the US, Russia, and Israel, this week’s efforts by German FM Heiko Maas and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe to mediate between the US and Iran could prove to be but a sideshow. The meeting of the national security advisors, against the backdrop of Syrian and Russian forces pummeling Idlib, the last major stronghold of Syrian rebels, takes on added significance with strains emerging in relations between Moscow and Tehran.

Iran Is Too Smart to Go to War

| June 5, 2019

If the Iranians have their way and are able to control the level of the flames, they will make sure that tensions with the US fall short of war due to the massive disparity in military capability and lack of mutual vulnerability. A Hezbollah attack on Israel in such a scenario would lead to Hezbollah’s destruction, a result Tehran would prefer to avoid.

The Tension Between the US and Iran

In the Persian Gulf, tensions are rising over the sanctions recently imposed by the US on Iran in the wake of its refusal to comply with Washington’s demand that the nuclear agreement signed by Barack Obama be reopened. Tehran does not wish to submit to this demand, as it would suggest weakness on the part of the regime and would inhibit Iran’s nuclear ambitions. But its refusal could lead to the collapse of the Iranian economy, war, and possibly the overthrow of the regime.

The Prospect of an Iran-Israel Escalation

| June 2, 2019

The recent rise in military tensions in the Persian Gulf between the US and Iran introduces a heightened possibility that Iran will activate proxies against Israel. In the event of further escalation, Jerusalem must assume that Tehran’s plans will include possible proxy attacks on Israeli territory and overseas Israeli targets.

The US’s Middle East Strategy Might Be Fraying

| May 21, 2019

Egypt’s withdrawal from the formation of an “Arab NATO” against Iran is a warning that both Israel and the US need to urgently rethink their strategy regarding the Middle East. Putting all its Arab World eggs in the Saudi basket could prove to be one of the more unsound decisions in the annals of American diplomatic history, and one that could profoundly affect Israel if it backfires.

Pakistan on a Tightrope

| May 19, 2019

Pakistan risks falling off a tightrope as it attempts to balance its relations with rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Egypt and Iran Vie for Influence in Gaza

| May 7, 2019

While Cairo is exerting its influence in Gaza to avoid a new conflict and mediate a period of calm, Iran sees Gaza as one more base from which to grow and control a proxy terrorist army.

Iran Must Demonize Its Enemies to Justify Itself

| April 29, 2019

The consolidation of revolutionary regimes through demonization of ideological and political foes is a common practice, and the Islamic Republic of Iran has been no exception to this rule. Indeed, the Islamist regime’s intense preoccupation with constructing a negative image of its adversaries has become one of its foremost defining features.

Sanctions on the IRGC Will Be Judged by Results – and by Iran’s Reaction

| April 12, 2019

The Trump administration’s decision to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist entity will ultimately be judged by how successful it is in changing Iran’s conduct.

Russia Positions Itself as Final “Judge” in Syria Amid Escalating Israeli-Iranian Tensions

| April 8, 2019

Russia holds the cards in Syria. Jerusalem and Tehran must spell out their desires for the Syrian arena to Moscow, who in turn must find a way to leave each side with “half its desires.”