Is Taleh Bagir-zade Baku’s Sheikh Al-Nimr?


by Eldar Mamedov The Muslim world continues to reverberate from the shock created by Saudi Arabia’s early January execution of Baqr al-Nimr, a dissident Shia cleric. Meanwhile, another outspoken Shia cleric, Taleh Bagir-zade, sits behind bars in Azerbaijan. Bagir-zade was… Continue Reading  

Is Europe Choosing Iran over Saudi Arabia?


by Eldar Mamedov On January 19, the European Parliament (EP) debated the escalating crisis between Iran and Saudi Arabia following the execution by Riyadh of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr and the attack in response on the Saudi embassy in Tehran… Continue Reading  

Why Deterrence Against Iran Is a Bad Idea


by Eldar Mamedov In the November-December 2015 issue of Foreign Affairs, prominent American scholar Michael Mandelbaum argues that in order to deter Iran from going nuclear, the agreement reached by P5+1 should be supplemented by an explicit threat of US… Continue Reading  

What Are Russians up to in Syria?


by Eldar Mamedov In remarks on December 11 intended to increase pressure on Turkey, President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s military to act in an “extremely tough way” in Syria to protect Russian forces attacking Islamic State (ISIS or IS) targets.… Continue Reading  

Turkey: Back to the 20th Century?


by Eldar Mamedov When Turkey suffered the deadliest terror attack in its history on October 10 in Ankara, the country’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was quick to blame it on a wholly implausible “terror cocktail” of the Islamic State (ISIS or… Continue Reading