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The Trump-Putin Sideline and the Syria Conflict

On July 7, U.S. president Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin will meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit. Among the topics certain to come up is the Syria conflict, an area on which the two leaders will struggle to find common ground. AL-SHAYRAT STRIKE AND AFTERMATH With regard to Syria, the April [&hellip...    read more 

Moscow Carefully Assessing International Energy Scene

As the Saudi-led sanctions against Qatar raise concerns about liquefied natural gas (LNG) export prospects, Russia is weighing its options. The Middle East is key to Russia’s Energy Strategy to 2030, adopted in 2009. The document calls not only for Russia to diversify its gas exports to decrease dependence on European consumers, but to creat...    read more 

A Humiliated Arab World Turns to Islamism

During the 1950s and 60s, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser guided and shaped Arab public opinion. Nasser emerged as the undisputed leader of the Arab world by championing pan-Arabism — a secular ideology that advocated Arab unity and freedom from Western influence. It also championed the liberation of Palestine, a euphemism for the creation of a Pa...    read more 

Islam, Semantic Racketeering and Western Decadence

Muslims may be innocent of the abandon with which violence is being perpetrated in their name. But Islam itself, and both its Muslim and non-Muslim apologists, are beyond guilty; they are complicit. Yet, sparing Islam the hardships of scrutiny and judgment and reevaluation seems to be a new norm of propriety; a modern form of appeasement; a twenty-first cent...    read more 

Did Fears Surrounding the Iran Deal Really Come True?

When the Iranian Nuclear Deal was signed two years ago, critics of the Deal had several concerns about it. This was especially true in Washington and Israel, where opponents voiced concerns that the deal was a catastrophe. But two years in, it is time to judge whether the Iran Deal was a good idea and what its future implications are...    read more 

Nasser’s Legacy on the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 War

Cairo was the political capital of the Middle East in the 1950s and 1960s. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser was the most charismatic ruler in the region, and he tried to become the undisputed leader of the Arab world. In his 1954 memoir, The Philosophy of the Revolution, Nasser revealed his vision of Egypt as a unique geostrategic influence in the Afric...    read more 

Iran’s Quest for a New Islamic Civilization

In February, the Islamic Republic celebrated the 38th year of the revolution. Soon after the Iranian Revolution succeeded in 1979, the new regime had two missions: providing support for oppressed populations — especially Shia minorities — in the Middle East and the world and purifying the system from unwanted elements loyal to the shah, the West and the ...    read more 

How the Six-Day War became the Soviet-Israeli War

Just before the recent U.S. election, the late Russian UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, opined that “the general situation” between the two powers was “the worst since 1973.” As then, the direct trigger was Middle Eastern. In 2016 it was “serious differences over Syria,” where post-Soviet Russia launched a ruthless military intervention; in...    read more 

Iran Needs Foreign Investment. But They’re Not Making It Easy.

After Iran’s nuclear agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with six world powers (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom), many outside businesses are enthusiastic to enter the Iranian market. Meanwhile, to boost Iran’s collapsed economy, the country’s moderate forces—a coalition of progressive politician...    read more 

Eliminating the Iran Deal is Counterproductive for Trump

Observers are particularly puzzled over whether President Donald Trump will seek to alter or eliminate the nuclear pact with Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Indeed, Trump expressed some very strong reservations about the Deal and, on occasion, promised to scrap it entirely. That said, Trump has had a history of making ambiguous [&hellip...    read more