Why the Supreme Leader Banned Direct Talks with the US

Ayatollah Khamenei (Wikimedia Commons)

by Reza HaghighatNejad  “There will be no war, nor will we negotiate with the US,” the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei announced to an audience of supporters at his office on Monday, August 13. He also “confessed” to having made a mistake about… Continue Reading  

New Caspian Accord Resolves Some Issues, Not All

Old Soviet Volga car and abandoned oil rig on the shore of Caspian sea, Azerbaijan (Shutterstock)

by Mark N. Katz Ever since the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, the five states bordering the Caspian Sea (Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Iran) have been unable to reach agreement on a legal regime for the body… Continue Reading  

The Strait of Hormuz: Iran’s Potential Countermeasure to US Hostility

Demolition charge near a U.S. vessel in the Strait of Hormuz (photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Lee Kelsey)

by Nader Entessar and Kaveh L. Afrasiabi As the Trump administration ratchets up pressures on Iran—by re-imposing the sanctions removed under the terms of the Iran nuclear accord—Iran has responded diplomatically, politically, and militarily, combining the elements of both soft… Continue Reading  

Saudi Arabia and Iran Woo Pakistan’s Khan

Shireen Mazari

By James M. Dorsey An offer by a Saudi-backed bank to lend financially strapped Pakistan $4 billion is likely intended to bolster Saudi influence when former international cricket player Imran Khan is sworn in in the coming week as the South Asian… Continue Reading  

Trump’s Sanctions Will Hurt the Wrong People in Iran

TOWANDA1961 via Shutterstock

by Jamal Abdi and Sina Toossi In August 2013, a group of 466 Iranian dissidents, including dozens of political prisoners, wrote a letter to President Barack Obama chastising him for his Iran policy. The unprecedented sanctions Obama had mustered against… Continue Reading