Middle East and North Africa News

Should U.S. pay ransoms?

Feb 10, 2015
"Giving into murderous terrorists is horrible. Giving up on the lives of innocent human beings in the name of a principle when there might be real and serious possibilities of saving them is worse," writes Aaron David Miller.

Will Islamic State pay for killing Jordanian pilot?

Feb 08, 2015
This act of violence seems to go beyond even the horrific baseline Islamic State has established. But as tempting as it may be to see the killing as a transformative act, it probably won't be. And here's why.

From Khamenei, Conditions for a Deal on Iran’s Nuclear Program

Feb 08, 2015
"The supreme leader said that any deal that does not respect Iran’s rights would be a bad deal, and he reiterated his condition that if there is to be an agreement, all sanctions must be lifted 'in the real meaning of the word,'" writes Haleh Esfandiari.

Beyond ISIS Turmoil, Jordan Is Flush With Problems

Feb 04, 2015
Poor, oil-less, and often overlooked, Jordan is the little kingdom that could. But Jordan faces a growing array of existential challenges that it didn’t create and doesn’t have the resources to resolve—and that make it vulnerable.

4 Takeaways From the Fight Against ISIS After the Death of Jordan’s Pilot

Feb 03, 2015
The main takeaway from this latest atrocity is that the fight against ISIS will be a long war, measured not in terms of “defeat” so much as trying to contain its expansion in the region. Here are other issues pointed up by the latest horrors.

The Illusion of a Hostage Policy

Feb 03, 2015
"Hostages taken today may nominally be victims of a single group, but they are caught up more fundamentally in a dysfunctional region-wide configuration. To end the broader problem will require brokering among leaders from Lebanon to Pakistan about the future of the region, both politically and physically," writes Robin Wright.

The Significance of Hard-Liners’ Criticism of Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif

Feb 02, 2015
"It is striking that while the supreme leader has, in a manner, continued to support the Iranian negotiating team, he has also permitted this barrage of criticism of the president, his foreign minister and Iran’s negotiators at a sensitive juncture in the nuclear negotiations," writes Haleh Esfandiari.

A Victory in Kobani?

Jan 27, 2015
"Despite two thousand airstrikes by American, European, and Arab warplanes since August 8th, the Islamic State has lost only one per cent of the land it seized in Iraq, and it continues to expand in Syria," writes Robin Wright.

Iran & Region: Goals in Syria

Jan 26, 2015
Iran is playing a crucial role in buttressing President Bashar Assad, through military advice, provision of weapons, and funding of the cash-strapped Syrian government. The Assad regime might not survive without support of Iran and its allies such as Hezbollah.

Iran & Region: Salvaging Iraq

Jan 26, 2015
The Iranian government, particularly the Revolutionary Guards, is playing a huge role in helping the Iraqi security forces fight the Islamic State, especially in Diyala.

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