• 2020-05-29

    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday called on countries to deny overflight rights to Mahan Air, an Iranian airline under U.S. sanctions, which he said recently delivered cargoes of “unknown support” to the Venezuelan government. 

  • 2020-05-22

    The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) urges Donald Trump to avoid the slippery slope toward armed conflict as an Iranian oil tanker nears Venezuela on Sunday.

  • 2020-05-17

    Iran's foreign minister on Sunday warned the US against deploying its navy in the Caribbean to disrupt Iranian fuel shipments to Venezuela. In a letter to United Nations chief Antonio Guterres, Mohammad Javad Zarif warned against "America's movements in deploying its navy to the Caribbean in order to intervene and create disruption in the transfer of Iran's fuel to Venezuela," AFP reported.

  • 2020-05-08

    Importantly, America’s traditional regional partners should not feel abandoned by improved U.S.-Iran relations. To the contrary, a diplomacy-first U.S. Middle East policy can lead to regional cooperation and long-term stability. The U.S. can use its enhanced leverage to help realize a long imagined regional cooperation system between Iran, Iraq, and the six states of the Gulf Cooperation Council. This can be modeled after the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which originated out of a diplomatic process that reduced tensions between the Warsaw Pact and NATO states. Institutionalized dialogue among the Persian Gulf countries will ease the U.S. security burden in the region. Saudi Arabia and Iran will have a forum to communicate their grievances and engage in reciprocal confidence-building measures. Over time, such dialogue can expand to cooperation to resolve various regional conflicts, such as the war in Yemen, and on regionalizing the cost of securing the Persian Gulf. 

  • 2020-05-08

    The United States is adrift in the Middle East. Its actions do not reflect coherent goals or strategies to attain them. The centerpiece of the Trump administration’s approach to the region is its so-called “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, a failed policy that has ceded ground to Russia and China and put the U.S. at risk. At the same time, the response from hawkish Democrats is equally problematic. Instead of these two paths, the next U.S. administration should consider an approach that focuses on sustained engagement with all regional powers.

  • 2020-05-07

    The drawdown of U.S. military presence in the Middle East, and especially from Saudi Arabia, is a welcome development. However, given this administration’s track record of belligerence towards Iran and its transaction approach towards even its closest security partners, it is hardly surprising that the timing of the move is provoking considerable speculation.

  • 2020-04-23

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday accused US President Donald Trump of making threats that were cheered on by "Saddam's terrorists". The chief Iranian diplomat was referring to the formerly US-designated terrorist group Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK), an Iranian opposition group that was allied with the late Iraqi autocrat Saddam Hussein. 

  • 2020-04-23

    A group of fifty experts and former officials signed a letter on Thursday asking U.S. President Donald Trump to “double down” on economic sanctions against Iran.

  • 2020-04-22

    President Donald Trump has instructed the U.S. military to use force against armed Iranian vessels that have recently engaged in tensions with the Navy's Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf. "I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea," Trump tweeted Wednesday.

  • 2020-04-22

    Iran launched more than a dozen missile targeting coalition troops in Iraq following a U.S. decapitation strike that killed Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani. “Bottom line is, in my professional assessment, at Al Asad ... the points of impact were close enough to personnel and equipment and so on and so forth ― I believe, based on what I saw and what I know, that they were intended to cause structural damage, destroy vehicles and aircraft, and to kill personnel,” Milley said in January. The U.S. has since sent Patriot missile batteries inside Iraq to defend coalition troops from potential Iranian strikes.

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