• 2021-11-12

    The Eurasian chessboard is in non-stop motion at dizzying speed. After the Afghanistan shock, we’re all aware of the progressive interconnection of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and of the preeminent roles played by Russia, China and Iran. These are the pillars of the New Great Game.

  • 2021-11-10

    During a recent visit to Moscow in mid-October, Iran’s armed forces Chief of Staff General Mohammad Bagheri met with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and confirmed that Tehran might be interested in buying some new Russian weaponry.

  • 2021-11-10

    In his instructions to the new cabinet, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei denounced US President Joe Biden as a “ravenous wolf,” telling his ministers, “Diplomacy should not be influenced and linked to the nuclear issue.” Instead, President Ebrahim Raisi’s team intends to focus on east-oriented economic diplomacy. Both Raisi and Ali Khamenei condemned the previous President Hassan Rouhani for being naive in negotiations with the West, with the Supreme Leader explicitly stating, “Trusting the West doesn’t work.” He considers Western negotiators on the nuclear program unreliable and deceitful. Accordingly, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh demanded that US President Joe Biden provide specific assurances that Washington “will not again renege on its commitments” under the renewed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

  • 2021-11-04

    Let’s begin with a few headlines: Pentagon says world will have three ‘great powers’ – and US will be ‘challenged’ / Biden ready to change US nuclear weapons policy – reports / The US imposes sanctions on Nicaragua / IRGC releases footage of blocking US oil seizure

  • 2021-11-03

    U.S. and Iranian officials gave conflicting accounts of a ship that was seized last month. Some reports said it was the same tanker the United States had seized last year. The Pentagon denied that.

  • 2021-10-28

    Neither country can afford the setbacks that often are the result of hubris. Both have bigger geopolitical, diplomatic, and economic fish to fry.

  • 2021-10-28

    A hacker group known as "Moses Staff" has carried out a cyberattack against the Israeli Defense Ministry, revealing files and photographs from the ministry's systems. […] In mid-October, Microsoft revealed that hackers allegedly linked to Iran had attempted to break into 250 Microsoft Office 365 accounts belonging to American and Israeli security firms using a hacking method known as "password spraying." Defense businesses that serve American, European Union, and Israeli government partners in the production of military-grade radars, drone technology, satellite systems, and emergency response communication systems, according to Microsoft, were the focus of the attacks.

  • 2021-10-27

    Iran president says cyberattack not the first, won’t be last. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visited gas stations in Tehran a day after a cyberattack, presumably from a foreign country, caused long delays at the pump. Raisi said that this cyberattack is neither the first time nor will it be the last and asked people to be prepared for more. At a cabinet meeting, Raisi also said that the attack's purpose was to “disrupt the lives of people.” Officials did not become entangled in the problem and they quickly resolved it, Raisi said. He also noted that the Iranian people did not allow “others to take advantage” of the situation, meaning they did not make the attack into a reason for anti-government protests, which Raisi assumed was the intent.

  • 2021-10-26

    Questions about the viability of the Iraqi security forces—brought into sharp focus by the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan—require a data-led analysis of where the forces are today and what mix of U.S., NATO, and European efforts can help them thrive in the future. The August collapse of the Afghan National Security Forces shook the world’s faith in U.S. security cooperation, prompting hard questions about similar arrangements with Iraq. In a country where the United States has been training forces for two decades, officials need straight answers. How resilient are today’s U.S.-supported Iraqi security forces, and could they operate with gradually reduced American support? What kind of near-term Iraqi force development should the coalition credibly expect to see? And how should U.S.-led security cooperation evolve after the December “transition of mission” to a non-combat role? In this urgently applicable Policy Focus, longtime ISF watchers Michael Knights and Alex Almeida provide a data-led analysis of where Iraq’s security forces are today, how they will look tomorrow, and what mixture of U.S., NATO, and European efforts can ensure the best result commensurate with American interests. The roadmap they outline shows how Baghdad can ultimately achieve enduring victory over the Islamic State and overmatch the domestic opponents of a sovereign, stable, and democratic Iraq.

  • 2021-10-22

    This study builds on a series of CTC Sentinel articles since 2019 that have charted the evolution of the self-styled, Tehran-backed resistance (muqawama) factions in Iraq that direct attacks on the U.S.-led coalition.

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