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Behind the News - November 2017

Behind the News - November 2017 Categories: Egypt, Iran, Israel, Palestinians, Syria    

Israel has said it will prevent ISIS operating close to its border. Both the Islamic State-affiliated Khalid ibn al-Walid Army and the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly the al-Nusra Front, linked to al-Qaeda, already reportedly have a presence close to Israel's Golan borders.

Hamas, Iran and Palestinian Reconciliation

Hamas, Iran and Palestinian Reconciliation Categories: Hamas, Iran, Palestinians     Author: Khaled Abu Toameh

In a historic reawakening, Iran is once again meddling in the internal affairs of the Palestinians. This does not bode well for the future of "reconciliation" between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority's (PA) Fatah faction run by PA President Mahmoud Abbas. The re-emergence of Iran, as it pursues i

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Is Iran really complying with the Nuke Deal?

Is Iran really complying with the Nuke Deal? Categories: International Security, Iran     Author: Alan Dershowitz

The evidence is mounting that Iran is not only violating the spirit of the no-nukes deal, but that it is also violating its letter. The prologue to the deal explicitly states: "Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons." This reaffirmation

An opportunity to fix a flawed deal

An opportunity to fix a flawed deal Categories: International Security, Iran, Op-eds     Author: Shmuel Levin

The only penalty that can be implemented for violations of the JCPOA is the full re-imposition of sanctions - which automatically ends all restrictions on Iran under the agreement. This has been compared to a legal system with only one punishment - the death penalty - for every crime. The obvious re

Iran and the Fall of Kirkuk

Iran and the Fall of Kirkuk Categories: Iran, Iraq     Author: Jonathan Spyer

Iraqi forces took Kirkuk city from the Kurds in mid-October with hardly a shot fired. Twenty-two Kurdish fighters were killed in the sporadic and disorganised resistance, while seven Iraqi soldiers also lost their lives. It is a remarkable setback for the Kurds, who just a few weeks ago held an inde

Three things to fix in the Iran Deal

Three things to fix in the Iran Deal Categories: International Security, Iran, United States     Author: Robert Satloff

Two years ago, I urged US Senators to vote "no" on the Iran nuclear deal. My goal was not to have them scrap the accord, which had numerous positive benefits, but to give President Barack Obama leverage to repair its serious flaws. "No," I argued, "doesn't necessarily mean ‘no, never.' It can

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Trump’s third way

Trump’s third way Categories: International Security, Iran, United States     Author: Clifford May

US President Donald Trump made a tough call on Oct. 13. European diplomats and an "echo chamber" in the mainstream media were insisting he "recertify" the nuclear weapons deal his predecessor concluded with Iran's rulers in 2015.

Is Iran complying with the JCPOA?

Is Iran complying with the JCPOA? Categories: International Security, Iran, United States     Author: Tzvi Kahn

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared on Sept. 17 that Iran is in "technical compliance" with the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). This assertion ignores multiple Iranian violations of the letter of the accord. It overlooks the lack of trans

The Road to Kurdistan

The Road to Kurdistan Categories: Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Op-eds, Turkey     Author: Colin Rubenstein

Stateless and persecuted, Kurds have been the target of oppression, intimidation and violence. Tens of thousands have been killed. Yet despite all they have been through, they continue to cling to the hope of a brighter future in a state of their own.

The Kurdistan referendum – the aftermath

The Kurdistan referendum – the aftermath Categories: Iran, Iraq, Israel, Turkey, Updates     Author: Shmuel Levin

As discussed here on FreshAIR a few weeks ago, despite significant opposition, Iraq's Kurds proceeded on 25 September with an independence referendum resulting in an overwhelming ‘yes' vote of 93%. The referendum was opposed with near-unanimity from multiple countries, including most prominen

Why the winner in Syria is ... Iran

Why the winner in Syria is ... Iran Categories: Iran, Iraq, Israel, Middle East, Syria     Author: Jonathan Spyer

A flurry of diplomatic activity is currently taking place in the Syrian and Iraqi arenas. While the moves are occurring on separate and superficially unrelated fronts, taken together they produce an emergent picture. That picture is of two camps, one of which works as a united force on essential int

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