Category: Politics

Iran Deal Puts Pro-Israel Democrats in a Bind


It’s been a tough year for Israel’s most loyal supporters in the U.S. It began with a messy confirmation process for Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, a nominee whom pro-Israeli groups viewed with concern. Over the summer, President Obama leaned on…

As critical phase near, Obama stumps for healthcare law


(Reuters) – President Barack Obama visits a local college on Thursday to promote his signature healthcare program as it nears a critical enrollment phase, even as the law faces stiff political opposition and a wary public.

Saudis offer Russia secret oil deal if it drops Syria


The Telegraph: The revelations come amid high tension in the Middle East, with US, British, and French warship poised for missile strikes in Syria. Iran has threatened to retaliate. The strategic jitters pushed Brent crude prices to a five-month high…

Royal Rivalry in the Levant: Saudi Arabia and Qatar Duel over Syria

Share The cycle of calamity plaguing Syria continues to intensify with no end in sight. Syria’s predicament today is far removed from the initial outburst of mass dissent witnessed in March 2011 that saw the Ba’athist regime violently suppress demonstrations…

Hassan Rowhani: the new man in Iran


EIU: Hassan Rowhani, a moderate conservative cleric, has won a landslide victory in Iran’s presidential election. His victory reflects a consolidation of support for a president who will prioritise reversing the negative momentum in Iran’s economy. Mr Rowhani is also likely…

Myanmar: Echoes of Indonesia?


A populous South-east Asian country moves from years of autocratic rule to tentative democracy despite simmering ethnic conflicts and an entrenched military—this was Indonesia 15 years ago, and it is Myanmar today. Myanmar’s struggles with sectarian violence, and Indonesia’s increasingly…

Interpol Rebuffs Russia in Its Hunt for a Kremlin Critic


MOSCOW (NY Times)— Interpol has rejected a Russian request for a worldwide police hunt for William F. Browder, a British investment banker and a Kremlin nemesis who has made no secret of his whereabouts or of his battle against the…

Obama’s ‘red line’ on Syria grows softer


WASHINGTON LA TIMES– President Obama softened his threat to Syria over its possible use of chemical weapons, telling reporters that if conclusive proof of such activity emerges, he “would rethink a range” of retaliatory options that might not include military action.

Decision Time for Central Asia: Russia or China?


Vladimir Putin’s vision of an expanded Eurasian Customs Union poses a dilemma for Central Asia’s former Soviet republics – do they privilege their relations with Russia or deepen their ties with China? Li Lifan and Raffaello Pantucci consider the problems…