Despite genuine efforts at engaging Tehran, such as the Nowruz greetings issued by President Barack Obama this past Saturday and a similar Internet video released the previous year, the Obama administration has proven unable to resolve U.S. differences with the Iranian government over Iran’s nuclear program, regional security issues, or other disputes. Developments thus far do not portend any greater success this year. The decades of hostility and mistrust between Washington and Tehran made any bilateral reconciliation effort inevitably problematic. The unanticipated advent of a powerful mass movement in Iran seeking to change the regime’s policies — and, perhaps, the […]

There is little doubt that as president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych will decisively shift the country’s geopolitical posture, with Kiev once again moving closer to Moscow after its pro-Western and pro-EU turn of 2005. The potential consequences on the EU’s energy future are serious, as 80 percent of Russian natural gas exports to Europe transit through Ukrainian territory. The country has been in repeated price disputes with the Russian state-owned gas monopoly, Gazprom, resulting in interruptions of deliveries to the Ukrainian market in January 2006 and 2009, with supplies to Europe affected both times. Mediation on the part of the […]

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The upcoming Iraqi parliamentary elections loom large in the political fortunes of so many players, both internal and external, that it constitutes a historical referendum of sorts — not just for Iraq, but beyond as well. Across the region, globalization, in all its complex currents, appears poised at a number of inflection points. The outcome of Iraq’s elections will leave winners on some fronts, losers on others, and will trigger plenty of bandwagoning by those worried about being left out or left behind. Here’s a list of some potential outcomes, none of which are mutually exclusive, in rough order of […]