Iranian Port City Bears Brunt of Crackdown

| December 5, 2019

The Iranian port city of Bandar-e-Mahshahr, which is experiencing great violence during the crackdown on the anti-regime protests, is a microcosm of Iran’s broader domestic problems.

Tehran and the Restive Iraqis

| December 3, 2019

With many Iraqis (including Shiites) blaming Tehran for the social restiveness engulfing their country, Iranian policymakers fear the weakening of Tehran’s grip on its neighbor.

Iran and Its Proxies Face the Costs of Imperialism

| November 25, 2019

In both Iraq and Lebanon, Shiites are participating in protests against Iranian-backed, Shiite-led governments. As protests and violence in Iraq and Lebanon continue, Iran is beginning to learn that imperialism in a world of mass politics and protest has unintended costs.

The Road to an Iranian Attack on Israel

| November 15, 2019

Israeli political and military leaders have warned against the possibility of a major military confrontation with Iran, which wants to deter Israel from disrupting its attempts to build military bases in Syria and Iraq and to construct factories in which Hezbollah can convert its huge arsenal of rockets into accurate missiles. This threat is more acute in light of the American failure to respond to recent Iranian provocations in the Gulf. Israel should adopt an aggressive new strategic approach to meet this threat, in coordination with the US and in consultation with Russia.     

The Upheaval in Syria Opens the Door for Iranian Attack

| November 4, 2019

The latest upheaval in northeastern Syria caused by Turkey’s invasion, and the division of the Syrian plunder among Turkey, the Assad regime, and Russia, presents Iran with new avenues for building up attack capabilities and further destabilizing the region.

Turkey’s Invasion of Syrian Kurdistan as Seen from Tehran

| October 25, 2019

Though it prompted angry reactions from senior officials in Tehran, the Turkish attack on Syrian Kurdistan offers both pros and cons for the Islamic Republic – and the potential positives likely outweigh the negatives.

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.

Hints of Gulf Rapprochement: Iranian Tactics Might Be Paying Off

| October 16, 2019

Fears of a potential military conflict with Iran may have opened the door to a Saudi-Iranian dialogue against the backdrop of a rethink of US military logistics, involving at least a gradual partial relocation to the US of command and control operations based in the Gulf for almost four decades.

Roadmap for a Chinese-Iranian Strategic Partnership

| October 2, 2019

Relations between Iran and China go as far back as the ancient Silk Road – but despite the recent establishment of a formal comprehensive strategic partnership between the two, Beijing’s economic, political, and strategic interests remain too complex and self-contradictory to permit a close alignment with Tehran. In the post-JCPOA era, China is likely to remain Iran’s top economic partner in the coming years, but it is a mistake to overestimate the Sino-Iranian partnership. The US’s anti-Iran policy and the sanctions that accompany it could prevent the emergence of a more solid partnership.

Putin Clumsily Attempts to Exploit Gulf Tensions

| October 1, 2019

Vladimir Putin sees an opportunity in escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf, but his attempts to make the most of it have been clumsy and could be self-defeating.