Iran’s Strategic Mistake: Too Many Enemies (BESA Center)

A photo showing an Iranian general surrounded by flags of the Islamic Republic’s proxies in Arab states illustrates that it has accumulated too many enemies—a condition that has caused many regimes throughout history to disappear. ISIS is a recent example. If the Islamic Republic persists in accumulating enemies, it might share the same fate.


A Storm in January: Implications of the Recent U.S.-Iran Crisis for the Global Order (Carnegie Moscow Center)

The U.S.-Iran crisis of January 2020 did not lead to a major war in the Middle East, but it did reveal a number of new trends reshaping the world order.

Dmitri Trenin

Trump and Iran (Valdai Discussion Club)

President Trump’s decision to assassinate Iranian general Qassem Soleimani brought the two countries to the brink of war. Fortunately, at least for now, both pulled back. Iran’s face-saving retaliation was planned (with the probable assistance of Iraq) to hit parts of US bases that had long been abandoned, insuring no American casualties. Then both Trump and the Iranian government announced that they would take no further armed actions, although American sanctions on Iran continue an Iran still is arming and guiding proxies throughout the Middle East.

Richard Lachmann

Could Chernobyl Syndrome Take Hold in Iran? (BESA Center)

The display of fundamental incompetence, followed by denial and a cover-up, that accompanied the recent shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger airliner by Iran are reminiscent of the Soviet Union’s reaction to the explosion and fire at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in 1986—a response that marked the beginning of the end of the USSR. The Tehran regime’s combination of ineptness and self-protective lying similarly triggered an unprecedented voicing of criticism by Iranian citizens, suggesting that popular rage is overcoming fear of regime violence and repression.


What We Learned from the House Vote to Limit Trump’s Power to Fight Iran (Defense One)

Democrats, and some Trump allies, challenged the White House’s latest interpretation of presidential warmaking powers.


Are the US and Iran Headed Toward War? (BESA Center)

On January 3, 2020, an American drone killed Iran’s roving fixer in the Middle East, Quds commander Qassem Soleimani, sparking intense, but largely partisan, reactions in the US. While Republicans lauded President Trump, many Democrats worried that the action might spark a war with Iran. But while it is easy to criticize Trump for stirring up conflict in the Middle East, Iran has helped to create the conditions of this current conflict.

Gabriel Glickman is a nonresident associate fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. He is currently writing a book provisionally entitled, The Rise and Fall of World History: Avoiding Historical Amnesia in 21st Century Classrooms.

Sanctions and the End of Trans-Atlanticism. Iran, Russia, and the Unintended Division of the West (IFRI)

Les sanctions secondaires sont devenues l’instrument principal de découplage des objectifs politiques poursuivis par les États-Unis et l’Union européenne vis-à-vis de l’Iran et de la Fédération de Russie.

Rawi ABDELAL, Aurélie BROS

Israel’s Strikes in Syria Hurt Iran’s Purse (BESA Center)

Israel’s air force has been unrelenting in its determination to prevent the introduction by Iran into Syria of a massive supply of precision-guided missiles to be used against Israel. The IAF is also striking consistently and forcefully at Tehran’s attempts to establish a local Iranian-run weapons armament industry in Syria. With these efforts, Israel is forcing Iran to take these projects underground. That is an expensive proposition—and all the more difficult following the reimposition of US sanctions.