Earlier this month, Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency reached an agreement to reestablish certain transparency measures at select nuclear sites. Amid growing concern over Iran’s expanding nuclear activities, the deal is a positive step that bodes well for international efforts to contain Iran’s nuclear program.
It has been 20 years since the U.S. led an illegal invasion of Iraq to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein. The invasion unleashed a series of catastrophes for Iraq, the wider Middle East and the world. These catastrophic outcomes remain with us today, and it is worth reflecting on the most enduring ones and their effects.
The news that Saudi Arabia and Iran reestablished diplomatic relations in a deal mediated by China startled observers around the world. Beyond the question of whether it will hold, the agreement raises another important question: Does it signify a shift by Saudi Arabia away from its alignment with the U.S. to one with China?
Saudi Arabia, Iran and China Offer the U.S. a Lesson in Pragmatism
Rather than signaling a definitive resolution of their broader conflict, Saudi Arabia and Iran’s agreement to reestablish diplomatic ties can be read as Riyadh’s response to what it sees as lukewarm support by the U.S. on countering Tehran. It is also a pragmatic move by China to safeguard its interests in the Middle East.
Hundreds of thousands of Israelis have joined large-scale, unprecedented protests against the government’s attempts to pass legislation that would undermine judicial independence and weaken vital checks and balances. The historic nature of the ongoing protests, and what they portend for the future of the Jewish state, is inescapable.
Washington’s seemingly unconditional support for Israel stretches back across presidential administrations, and one could be forgiven for thinking that the bond between the U.S. and Israel is “unbreakable.” But it does have limits. What would it take, then, for Israel to bring the era of unquestioned U.S. support to an end?
In January, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists set their “Doomsday Clock” to 90 seconds before midnight, in an assessment of how close the world is to “global catastrophe”—the prospect of nuclear war. Three recent events over the past few weeks have reinforced the idea that the world is entering a dangerous era of nuclear risk.