Vision of the Heart

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Strategies Underlying Iranian Soft Power

Iran’s approach to soft power is sophisticated and varied. While the Islamic Republic’s religious rhetoric might dominate the Western understanding …

Iran's Axis of Resistance Rises

In 2006, in the midst of a fierce war between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice …

First sign of enhanced U.S.-Russia relations under Trump: An invite to Syria talks

Russia has invited the incoming Trump administration to Syrian peace talks it is sponsoring later this month with Turkey and Iran, part of a process from which the Obama administration pointedly has been excluded.<p>U.S. participation, especially if an agreement is reached, would be the first …

Why Obama — and every president since Carter — failed to transform the Middle East

“We are not a people to whom and nation to which limits don’t apply.” —Andrew Bacevich<p>What are America’s strategic objectives in the Middle East? How consistently have they been defined and pursued over the past three decades? What are the metrics of success? Are we better off today than we were 15 …

Geopolitics

A top futurist predicts the largest internet company of 2030 will be an online school

According to futurist Thomas Frey, in 14 years it'll be a big deal when students learn from robot teachers over the internet.<p>It's not just because the technology will be that sophisticated, Frey says, but because the company responsible for it will be the largest of its kind.<p>"I've been predicting …

The Shia Militias of Iraq

They’re essential to the fight against ISIS. But what happens when the Islamic State is gone?<p>KARBALA, Iraq—Along the road joining the cities of Najaf and Karbala in southern Iraq is a line of placards, attached at 50-meter intervals to every lamppost. Each one shows the face of a volunteer killed …

Iraqi Shiite militia closes in on strategic IS group-held town west of Mosul

Convoys of military vehicles loaded with Shi’ite paramilitary fighters hurtled across desert terrain in northwestern Iraq towards the Islamic State-held city of Tal Afar, chanting religious slogans and covering their faces to keep out the dust.<p>After routing the militants from an air base south of …

Trump foreign policy adviser: Trump will demand changes to the Iran nuclear deal

<b>(CNN) —</b> Walid Phares, one of Donald Trump's foreign policy advisers, says the President-elect is going to demand changes to the Iran nuclear agreement.<p>During the campaign, Trump said the Iran deal was one of the worst agreements ever negotiated. In a USA Today op-ed in September of 2015 Trump said, …

Erdogan Hopes Tough Talk Will Win New Fans

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has started talking about Turkey’s borders, hinting they should be shifted outwards a bit. In Syria and Iraq, his army …

Egypt's oil minister makes rare trip to Iran for oil talks after Saudi suspension

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla was on his way to Iran on Sunday to try to strike new oil deals, sources close to his delegation said at Cairo airport, after Saudi Arabia suspended its oil agreement last month.<p>Tarek El Molla, Egypt's Minister of Petroleum and Mineral …

Oil

The Shia Power Brokers of the New Iraq

As the embattled country wages war on ISIS in the north, its future may be decided by clerics in the south.<p>KARBALA, Iraq—The inner sanctum of the Imam Hussein Shrine shines day and night, illuminated by jeweled chandeliers. Their light is reflected in the mirrored domes of the roof, and gleams …

Iran 'wanted Egypt at Syria talks' as Middle Eastern alliances shift

Emails show Iran’s foreign minister lobbied for Egypt – region’s most populous Sunni Arab country – to attend talks in Lausanne<p>The Iranian foreign minister personally requested that Egypt attend last weekend’s key Syria talks – a move that has sparked concerns that Cairo is being wooed away from …

Middle East

US admiral says missiles fired again at US ship near Yemen

WASHINGTON (AP) — Multiple missiles were fired again from a Houthi-controlled region in Yemen targeting an American warship in the Red Sea, a U.S. …

Egypt to replace Saudi oil with Iran: Egyptian journalist

<b>October 13, The Iran Project – An Egyptian journalist says Egypt is seeking other sources to replace Saudi oil, stressing that importing Iran and</b> …

Oil

Amid Syrian chaos, Iran’s game plan emerges: a path to the Mediterranean

Militias controlled by Tehran are poised to complete a land corridor that would give Iran huge power in the region<p>Not far from Mosul, a large military force is finalising plans for an advance that has been more than three decades in the making. The troops are Shia militiamen who have fought against …

Middle East

The day after

A PROMINENT Sunni preacher is describing how the demise of Islamic State could herald a new era of Sunni-Shia reconciliation, when a Shia soldier at …

Middle East

Erdogan's 'Goldfinger' on trial in US

Iranian-Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab is on trial in New York, accused of violating sanctions against Iran. He has President Erdogan's support. …

South Asia

Fighting for the Soul of Islam: A Battle of the Paymasters

By James M. Dorsey<p>A gathering of prominent Sunni Muslim leaders in the Chechen capital of Grozny that appeared to have effectively excommunicated Saudi-backed ultra-conservatism potentially opens not only a theological but also a geopolitical rift in the Muslim world. The conference, sponsored and …

This is what climate change is doing to Iran - Vox

One of Iran's best known lakes is disappearing. These photos show what's left behind as the waters recede.<p>Lake Urmia, in the mountains of northwestern Iran, was once a source of national pride and one of the country’s top tourism destinations. It’s emerging now as something else entirely: Iran’s …

Hassan Rouhani

Egypt is building a new capital -- and China is bankrolling it

CAIRO — The Egyptian government is determined to build a new capital in the desert 28 miles southeast of this iconic city — and it's no longer a mirage now that China is bankrolling most of the $45 billion project.<p>Work has already begun on a 270-square-mile tract of army-owned land that would house …

Persian Gulf incidents spike, sending message from Iran hardliners

Threatening encounters between the US and Iran have risen recently in the Persian Gulf, with at least 32 reported so far this year, compared with 23 …

South Asia

West failing to deliver nuclear deal promises, says Iran vice-president

Ali Akbar Salehi attacks lack of progress on banking transactions and trade eight months after landmark agreement<p>Iran has fully complied with its commitments under last year’s landmark nuclear agreement, but eight months after the official removal of sanctions, the west is failing to deliver on its …

South Asia

Saudi prince warns Iran against using force to pursue rivalry

DUBAI (Reuters) - A senior Saudi official, responding to Iranian criticism of Riyadh’s management of the haj pilgrimage, urged Iran to end what he called wrong attitudes towards Arabs and warned it against any use of force in its rivalry with the kingdom.<p>Mecca Governor Prince Khaled al-Faisal …

South Asia

Turkey's post-coup sees thousands of arrests, suspensions

The government has arrested and suspended a massive number of people in connection with last weekend's botched coup. The army, police, judiciary and …

Civil Service

Turkey’s Lose-Lose Coup Situation

<i>by Graham E. Fuller</i><p>The dismaying coup events in Turkey may take some time to be resolved. But one thing is already clear—this attempt at military …

Geopolitics

Inside the Plan to Undo the Iran Nuclear Deal

A year after Obama's crowning diplomatic achievement, the fight against it is very much alive. And it might be succeeding.<p>For Barack Obama, July 14, 2015 marked the greatest diplomatic triumph of his presidency: Amid flags and flashbulbs in Vienna, his secretary of State, John Kerry, announced a …