Why Has Tehran Allowed Russian Bombers to Use an Iranian Base?

KhC0kvUIaTSILzWYWIp56hUF0AFDUjZU

by Mark N. Katz In a highly dramatic development, Russian bombers have begun using an Iranian base for bombing missions over Syria. Why Moscow would want to do this is clear: flight time to Syria is much shorter from northwestern Iran… Continue Reading  

Is Saudi Arabia Really Inviting Russia to Play a Bigger Role in the Middle East?

696ccaea-d68f-4488-b9cb-9dc7d79d1eb6

by Mark N. Katz Much attention was generated by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir’s interview with politico.eu. The minister appeared to offer Russia an economic lifeline from Western sanctions through economic access to the Gulf Cooperation Council—the grouping of the… Continue Reading  

Regional Impact of Russia’s Drawdown from Syria

Bashar_al-Assad_in_Russia_(2015-10-21)_09

by Mark N. Katz Just as it does for the Bashar al-Assad regime and its internal opponents, Russia’s announced drawdown of forces from Syria raises uncertainties for regional powers with stakes in the ongoing conflict there. Some in Saudi Arabia… Continue Reading  

Interpreting Putin’s Surprise Move in Syria

putin3

by Mark N. Katz Putin shocked the world last September when he sent Russian forces to intervene in Syria. He shocked the world again this week when he announced that he was withdrawing the main part of those forces.

Russian-Iranian Relations: Troubled Ties

aJK7Vab52WHCbb7FZYNmVpoAfyb0zu9c

by Mark N. Katz On March 14, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov talked about how Russian-Iranian relations had reached a “new level,” and how Moscow has “been persistently developing friendly relations with Iran.” Moscow and Tehran have, as is well… Continue Reading