Following the interim P5+1 deal with Iran, the world has never been this close to resolving the Iranian nuclear issue. There is no doubt that a de-escalation in Western relations with Tehran will help usher in a more cooperative and less threatening Iran whose domestic political dynamics would positively influence the region as a whole.
In this exclusive interview by Iran nuclear expert Michael Adler, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov revealed how things went in the room with the Iranians and what Russia now hopes for going forward.
The Middle East Program's Haleh Esfandiari compares the approach of various Muslim countries toward population growth and family planning, in this Point of View column from the May issue of Centerpoint.
The EU designated the "military" wing of Hizbullah as a terrorist organization, inviting strong reaction from Hizbullah describing it as a "legal cover for Israel to attack" Lebanon. The party is using the decision to intimidate UNIFIL forces in South Lebanon through the use of its local elected officials and the population. Hizbullah needs UNIFIL more than ever to keep the calm in the South while fighting in Syria. The threats to UNIFIL should not prevent the UN force from doing its work. While the attacks by Hizbullah's supporters on the UNIFIL forces might increase, the last thing Hizbullah and the people of the South need now is another war with Israel. This is the best guarantee for the safety of UNIFIL.
Once again Lebanon is facing crises that are driving it toward communal strife. The Syrian crisis and Hizbullah's involvement in it on the side of the Bashar al-Assad regime is dividing the country, stoking sectarian feelings, and forcing a political vacuum in the government. The flood of hundreds of thousands of refugees is adding to the explosive mix. Few Lebanese are trying to find a way out. Their success will depend on how the Syrian crisis turns out.
"Yet there is one reason for the president's caution that he almost never mentions -- and it may be one of the most compelling. Not surprisingly, it is derivative of Obama's most important foreign-policy objective in the Middle East: a nuclear deal with Iran," writes Aaron David Miller.
David Ottaway is a senior scholar at the Wilson Center who has recently returned from Morocco. The following piece is an overview of his observations on Morocco’s Islamists.
Dr. Haleh Esfandiari, director of the Woodrow Wilson Center's Middle East Program, arrived safely in the United States on Thursday, September 6th. Dr. Esfandiari announced that she was happy and excited to be home with her family. Read the transcript from the September 10th press conference with Dr. Haleh Esfandiari.