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Biden’s $90 Billion Bailout to Tehran

Lindsey D. Graham, Foreign Policy – 28 April 2021 At the start of his presidency, Joe Biden has acquired affairs with the Middle East that are relatively quiet. However, according to this article in Foreign Policy, if Biden returns the U.S. to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action “it could reverse positive momentum in…

Iran’s decade of protests: an interview with Firoozeh Farvardin and Nader Talebi

Gennaro Gervasio and Enrico De Angelis, openDemocracy – 22 March 2021 “Everyday life has become a constant gamble. A taxi driver once told us that ‘they turned the country into a huge casino’”. In this interview Farvardin and Talebi, both Iranian academic researchers at Berlin’s Humboldt University, specialising in Middle Eastern politics, nationalism, migration and gender…

Will Natanz attack, uranium enrichment derail nuclear diplomacy with Iran?

Robert Einhorn and Adrianna Pita, Brookings – 14 April 2021 On this podcast, Brookings’ Adrianna Pita talks with Robert Einhorn, a senior fellow with the Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative at Brookings, about why he believes both the U.S. and Iran still have incentives to follow through with negotiations towards restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan…

Iran and Russia discuss ties, the Middle East, and nuclear deal

Maziar Motamedi, Al Jazeera – 13 April 2021 Iranian president Hassan Rouhani recently met with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss nuclear deals, bilateral relations and expanding regional cooperation with other countries. This article in Al Jazeera details the specifics of Rouhani and Lavrov’s high-level talks. Read the full article here.

Eyeing US crude, India plans to buy less oil from Middle East

Debjit Chakraborty and Dhwani Pandya, Al Jazeera – 17 March 2021 According to officials, Indian refiners are planning to cut their oil purchases from Saudi Arabia in May and buy more from the U.S. as a result of OPEC+ supply restrictions and stronger gasoline demand during Covid-19. Read the full article on Al Jazeera here…

Afghanistan faces a brain drain as young and educated flee a wave of violence

Ben Farmer and Ezzatullah Mehrdad, The Telegraph – 14 February 2021 According to this article in The Telegraph, there is a growing feeling among Afghanistan’s educated youth that hopes of rebuilding their country are diminishing, and that any hope of a bright future now lies abroad. Read the full article here to find out why Afghanistan could…

In One Afghan District, Peace From 8 A.M. to 5 P.M.

Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Taimoor Shah and Fahim Abed, The New York Times – 8 March 2021 During the day in Panjwai, Afghanistan, you’d be forgiven for thinking the war had ended. An unofficial ceasefire, this is an example of how small communities, exhausted from violence, can govern the fighting without foreign intervention or reliance on government. This article in…

Iranian arts reveal the unseen face of a nation

Kourosh Ziabari – Opinion, Asia Times Iran’s artistic and cultural contributions over the millennia are eclipsed by its modern political isolation Much of what the global media report about Iran these days revolves around its unpopular nuclear program, its involvement in proxy conflicts across the Middle East, and its human-rights violations. Yet the concealed face…

How the Iran-Iraq war will shape the region for decades to come

Ranj Alaaldin – Brookings Forty years ago, a major war between Iran and Iraq set the stage for far-reaching and lasting regional dynamics. The conflict — which began in September 1980 when Saddam Hussein invaded Iran, and ended in a stalemate in 1988 — was the nascent Islamic Republic’s first major military test. It was…