The Trump administration’s confrontation with Iran escalated over the past week, highlighting a series of alarming trends.
First, it demonstrated the extent to which the administration is prepared to shun key allies. When US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unscheduled visit to Iraq,
Nearly a year after the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, it is loudly proclaiming the harsh impact of reinstated US secondary sanctions on the Iranian economy.
As a result of reduced revenues, US officials assert that Iran is under increasing pressure to scale
In his first visit to Tehran since the Syrian war began in 2010, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad met with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hasan Rouhani on Tuesday. Assad’s visit and its timing (following a series of international meetings, including the
If news reports are believed, Australia will on Saturday formally recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital while leaving its embassy to remain in Tel Aviv in an announcement to be made by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
If other news reports are believed, such a shift will be against the
For all the talk about the broken nuclear deal, it might seem a surprise to learn of an old agreement between the United States and Iran that is still in force.
The move to dismantle international agreements only makes diplomacy harder and belligerence easier.
The US-Iran Treaty of Amity,
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is considering a review of Australia’s support for the Iran nuclear deal. The news comes after US President Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal in May from what is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The US has subsequently
Europe has fired a shot across the bow of USS Trump in its joint press conference held yesterday with the Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif at the UN. The announcement that Europe would set up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to facilitate European trade with Iran in accordance with EU law, with the
As it happens, the United States holds the presidency of the United Nations Security Council during the annual diplomatic gabfest at the UN General Assembly.
Traditionally, that means the president of the US can choose to chair a Security Council meeting if he or she desires to spotlight a
In this rather strange ABC News article that appeared on Friday, it is reported that “senior figures in the Turnbull government” claim that Washington could bomb targets in Iran as early as next month, and that Australia would assist in target identification.
At a recent event in New Delhi, Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the United Nations, called Iran “the next North Korea” and urged India to rethink its relationship with the Islamic Republic. This was followed shortly afterwards by an American delegation, led by Assistant Secretary for Terrorist
There has been widespread condemnation of US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, including from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who expressed “regret”.
Besides having ramifications for US relations with European powers, Russia and China, who all
Trump finally did it: in perhaps one of the most ridiculous moves of his presidency (although competition on that front is fierce), he announced that his administration would remove the US from the Iran deal and reimpose all nuclear-related sanctions on Iran.
This is not only a gross violation of
US President Donald Trump’s decision to walk away from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – comes as no surprise, since he’s been threatening this for some time. To renege on a joint commitment not only with Iran but also with the EU, Russia, and
Between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu beaming six-foot-tall PowerPoint slides declaring “IRAN LIED” into people’s homes via television, and President Donald Trump’s new national Security Adviser penning a New York Times op-ed titled “To Stop Iran’s Bomb
It’s not every day that a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, America’s premier law-enforcement body, calls the sitting president of the US “morally unfit” to hold office. Yet that is what James Comey did on Sunday in a wide-ranging interview with ABC News
It appears a new regional security order is encircling Syria as the civil war grinds into its seventh year. This shift was visible last week, when the leaders of Turkey, Iran, and Russia met in Ankara to discuss solutions to the Syrian crisis. The detailed talks covered de-escalation zones
In January, US President Donald Trump’s frustration with the Iran nuclear deal got the better of him as he set a 12 May deadline for its renegotiation. But meeting this goal is impossible in the current environment. As a result, in an unnecessary and counterproductive move, it looks like the US
Among the range of sensitive government documents in the 'Cabinet Files' release last week, a list appeared with reference to a secret report intended for Australian eyes only, titled "Bilateral Planning with the United Arab Emirates on the defence of the UAE in the event of Iranian Hostilities
In 2017 the waters of the Persian Gulf are still choppy. There is US President Donald Trump's choice to decertify the Iran nuclear deal, Iran's bluster under President Hassan Rouhani and ongoing US efforts to end the dispute between several Gulf states and Qatar.
One group of
French President Emmanuel Macron is considering a visit to Tehran in early 2018. Macron would be the first French President to visit Iran since Valéry Giscard d'Estaing in 1976, and given the tensions between Washington and Europe over the nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of
In some respects, US President Donald Trump and the Iranian theocratic regime deserve each other.
Neither respect international agreements, except when it suits their purposes. Trump's badmouthing of the Iranian nuclear agreement is of one with his behaviour over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the
Tensions between the Iraqi military and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are once again threatening to boil over. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has ordered the military to 'impose security' in and around the oilfields and airport in the province of Kirkuk, a region the Kurds took back from Islamic
For Western nations which want to enter the miasma that is Middle Eastern politics, Theodore Roosevelt's proverbial instruction to 'speak softly and carry a big stick' is not a bad rule of thumb.
The region is by and large a collection of autocratic regimes of varying hue. Absent a
This week US President Donald Trump could announce that Iran is not complying with the 2015 nuclear deal, despite a number of US allies and officials - including some inside the Trump administration - insisting that Iran has not breached the terms of the agreement.
Under the 2015 Iran Nuclear
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal last month, US President Donald Trump called into question Washington’s continue support of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Last year on the campaign trail Trump made his dislike of the deal very clear but, for the last seven months, his
For too long, the Saudis have complained about the 'loss' of Iraq to Iranian influence without acknowledging that their almost complete refusal to establish ties with Baghdad achieved little other than creating the vacuum that Tehran has sought to fill. But there are signs that Riyadh has
It is often difficult to make sense of Iranian electoral results.
On the one hand, presidential elections feature such a narrow range of choice (the 1600-plus would-be candidates for this year's contest were whittled down by the Council of Guardians to just six, of whom two withdrew before
Some 40 million Iranians took to the polls on Friday to vote for the next President of the Islamic Republic, which represented an impressive 70% turnout rate. Commentators had predicted a high voter turnout would favour the re-election of moderate incumbent Hassan Rouhani, and they were correct: he
As Iran heads into an election on Friday with the focus on the economy, it is easy to miss the rise in temperature in Iran’s regional security environment. In late April, nine Iranian border guards were killed in Sistan-Baluchistan province as the result of an attack launched from Pakistani soil
Since Iran reached an agreement with India back in 2003 to develop a deep-water port and free-trade zone in Chabahar, on the Makran coast in Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan province, progress has been painfully slow. Partly due to international sanctions against Iran and partly due to bureaucratic
This week US President Donald Trump is due to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On the agenda will be Iran and, more specifically, the nuclear deal reached between Iran and five other major powers in July 2015 that both men oppose.
Late last month an attempted ballistic missile test
In May this year Iranians will go to the polls twice: first to vote for their next president, and then for nearly 120,000 council members in the municipal election. Women, like youth, form a critical component of Iran’s electorate. They played a key role in the election of reformist president
Iran’s relationship with Russia has been characterised as many things, ranging from a ‘marriage of convenience’ to a ‘long-lasting alliance’. In reality it's a pragmatic working relationship forged between two countries that have faced similar political and economic pressures
The first tactical victory emerging from Russia’s intervention in Syria came not on the al-Ghab plain in Syria’s Hama province or around Syria’s divided commercial capital of Aleppo. Rather it came at the end of last month in the peaceful surrounds of Vienna. It was there