Asia/Africa update: April 24-25 2018

ASIA ARMENIA It appears Serzh Sargsyan’s resignation was not enough to satisfy the Armenian protesters who forced it earlier this week. Talks between interim Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan and opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan on What Happens Next broke down on Wednesday after Pashinyan made it clear publicly that the entire Republican Party of Armenia must be removed from… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: April 24-25 2018

Middle East update: May 16-17 2017

TURKEY We’re going to start with a story about Turkey that didn’t happen in Turkey, or anywhere near Turkey. Rather, it happened in Washington, DC, on Tuesday: Supporters and opponents of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey engaged in a violent confrontation outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington on Tuesday night. Nine people were… Continue reading Middle East update: May 16-17 2017

Implementation day approaches, but don’t expect a dramatic turnaround

Earlier this week it was reported that Iran has taken the core out of its heavy-water nuclear reactor at Arak and filled it with concrete. The deputy director of Iran’s nuclear program later disputed the concrete part, saying that the core was going to be modified with Chinese technical assistance, but the US is saying… Continue reading Implementation day approaches, but don’t expect a dramatic turnaround

Iran: getting from a “deal” to THE deal

Well, the big news while I was traveling was obviously the announcement of a framework agreement, the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” between Iran and the P5+1 in Lausanne, Switzerland. Moreover, for a negotiation that looked to be puttering toward some kind of incredibly vague, hastily cobbled together statement of principles thrown together at the… Continue reading Iran: getting from a “deal” to THE deal

Positive news on the sanctions front, maybe

Bob Menendez may be backing off of his plan to kill the Iran talks: Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) is considering delaying the introduction of his Iran sanctions bill until March, which would give him more time to gather support from wavering Democrats, according to a recent interview. The bill, co-authored with Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.),… Continue reading Positive news on the sanctions front, maybe

Foreign Policy’s disappeared Iran article reappears

Colum Lynch’s mysteriously disappeared “U.S. Accuses Iran of Secretly Breaching U.N. Nuclear Sanctions” exclusive is once again online this morning, with no explanation why it was posted and then pulled on Friday. The obvious explanation is that Foreign Policy wanted to run a juicy exclusive like this on Monday, when lots more people are reading… Continue reading Foreign Policy’s disappeared Iran article reappears

The neocon endgame on Iran, new piece for Lobe Log

Trying to navigate the array of neoconservative reactions to the ongoing talks with Iran gives me a headache. Several are very straightforward about wanting war, but it seems like many others are pretending to support sanctions and negotiations in theory, but their standards for a successful outcome range from unrealistic to outright impossible, leaving nothing… Continue reading The neocon endgame on Iran, new piece for Lobe Log