The meetings reported in recent weeks between Iran and Saudi Arabia are a new development in the relations between the two countries, which were severed in 2016. The immediate context is the change of administration in the United States.
A recently leaked audio recording featuring Iran’s foreign minister lamenting the dominance of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in setting Iranian policies provides new evidence of the way Iranian hardliners exclude all others in setting the Islamic Republic’s agenda.
Nuclear alarm bells should have sounded after the New York Times’ editorial board published on April 23, 2021, its paean to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Why the Past Haunts Talks with Iran.
“Nuclear talks in Vienna… are said to be making progress, which is good news,” the newspaper heralded. It was difficult for the Times editorial writers to understand why Americans opposed Iran’s “technological advancement.” After all, “Under the Iran nuclear deal struck in 2015, Iran took steps to assure the world that it would not develop weapons, including pouring cement into the core of a heavy-water reactor.”
Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, says ‘all sides’ are willing to talk ‘seriously’ about a pathway back into the nuclear deal.
The Abraham Accords between Israel and Gulf nations have taught us the important lesson that long-standing animosities can be set aside when greater national interests are served by making peace. Which raises the question: Do national interests make a compelling case for a thaw in the Gulf?
In the recently published Swedish Security Service Yearbook 2020, which discusses the main security and intelligence challenges faced by Sweden over the past year, Iran is mentioned 14 times. The Islamic Republic, together with Russia and China, is a direct threat to Swedish national security.
A 25-year cooperation agreement was signed recently between China and Iran. The West and countries in the Middle East are alarmed by what closer China-Iran ties could mean for their interests, while the Iranians and the Chinese have different reactions to the news. Fan Hongda weighs the pros and cons of the agreement and what it means for all its stakeholders.
Tough negotiations to save the Iranian nuclear deal are resuming, and they are by no means guaranteed to succeed.
The first round of indirect talks between Washington and Tehran ended on an optimistic note, but a return to the 2015 agreement is still a long way off. What obstacles confront the two sides? How might Israel influence the negotiations? And will the “power failure” at Natanz influence the deliberations?
Khomeinism, the ideology of the Islamic Republic of Iran, encompasses the radical ideas of its founding father Ayatollah Khomeini. Antisemitism is a central tenet of this ideology and the regime has repeatedly threatened to exterminate the Jewish State. As recently as March 7, 2021, Iranian DM Amir Hatami claimed that Tehran has the capacity to “turn Tel Aviv and Haifa into ashes.”