Geopolitics

Letter from Tehran: Trump ‘the bazaari’

Ayatollah Khamenei

The Iranian Parliament just hosted its annual conference on Palestine and, among the dignitaries - that included Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani - and the 700 foreign guests from more than 50 countries was Asia Times columnist Pepe Escobar.

Why two new Kurdistans are better than one

Two new Kurdistans

By Bilal Wahab 
For nearly a century now, the question of whether there should be an independent Kurdish state has loomed over the Middle East. The issue achieved new urgency after U.S. forces evicted Saddam Hussein from northern Iraq after the Gulf War in 1991, effectively creating the preconditions for Kurdish autonomy there. The American-led invasion in 2003 and the war that followed have merely accelerated that process.

‘’Russia toughens stance on territorial dispute with Japan’’

Kuril Islands

 
Author : Sergei Blagov
Russia has renewed its earlier hardline stance on the territorial feud with Japan over the Kuril Islands by announcing upcoming deployment of additional troops to the disputed islands. On February 23, still known as “Army Day” in Russia, Moscow brushed aside Japanese objections against the deployment, dismissing Tokyo’s stance as irrelevant.

IN SYRIA, TURKEY FINDS ITSELF BOXED IN: WHAT’S NEXT?

Turkish tanks

AARON STEIN AND RAO KOMAR
For special access to experts and other members of the national security community, check out new the War on the Rocks membership.
After months of halting and costly progress, the Turkish military and allied Syrian rebels are in a good position to take the Syrian city of al-Bab from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). With the capture of al-Bab, Turkey will have accomplished the clearly defined goals of its “Operation Euphrates Shield” intervention in northern Aleppo governorate: driving ISIL from the Turkish border and blocking hostile Kurdish forces from linking their territory to Turkey’s south.


How America Can Avoid a War with China

America China


A blueprint for American policymakers to improve the U.S.-Chinese relationship.
Joe Renouard

Sino-American relations seem to be at a crossroads, though exactly where the relationship is headed is anyone’s guess. President Trump’s scattershot approach to public diplomacy and policymaking has thus far sparked more questions than answers. Is he acting irresponsibly and provoking unnecessary conflicts, or is he shrewdly testing Beijing’s resolve before he challenges it on trade and security matters? 

Meet the powerful Iranian cleric looking to unseat Rouhani

Ebrahim Raisi

Author Rohollah Faghihi

A new and powerful figure has joined the list of candidates among Iranian conservatives for the May presidential election: Ebrahim Raisi, a senior cleric who has gradually risen through the ranks to assume powerful positions. Born in the holy city of Mashhad in northeast Iran — home to the shrine of the eighth Shiite imam — Raisi started his career as the prosecutor general of Karaj — a city just west of the capital city, Tehran — two years after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In 2004, Raisi was appointed as the first deputy of judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi. When incumbent Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani took over the judiciary in 2009, Raisi remained as the first deputy.

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