Seyyed Abbas Araqchi
A top Iranian nuclear negotiator has expressed satisfaction with the general atmosphere of the ongoing negotiations between representatives of the Islamic Republic and the United States over Iran’s nuclear program.
In ‘Iran should accept US Presidential Waiver’, posted on Iran Review on 27 November, Dr. Kaveh Afrasiabi cast doubt on the validity of points I had made earlier that week in a LobeLog post. In my post I suggested that a major obstacle to the reaching of a comprehensive agreement on 24 November had been the inability of US negotiators to convince Iranian negotiators that President Obama could guarantee the repeal or amendment of sanctions legislation by Congress, or that a future President would exercise waiver authorities.
The 10th Manama Dialogue, also known as the IISS Regional Security Summit 2014, was held in the Bahraini capital city of Manama on December 5-7, 2014, attended by high-ranking security and military officials from certain Western and Arab countries of the region. On the sidelines of the event, a new military deal was signed between the UK and the government of Bahrain, which will allow Britain to establish its first military base in the Persian Gulf kingdom.
The residence of Iran's new ambassador to Yemen was recently targeted by a terrorist attack carried out by the country’s Ansar al-Sharia group, which is an offshoot of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Mr. Niknam (Iran's ambassador to Sanaa) had been just appointed to the post upon the request of the Yemeni government. Apart from sectarian motives behind Ansar al-sharia’s terrorist activities, it is also clear that some other influential players in Yemen are angry with the new developments in this country.
Kaveh L. Afrasiabi
US President Barack Obama’s pick of hawkish Ashton Carter as the next secretary of defense in place of the relatively dovish Chuck Hagel has been widely interpreted as the administration’s intention to increase its reliance on America’s ‘hard-power’ in light of the growing global instabilities and the dawn of a ‘new cold war’ between US and Russia.
The existence of certain common viewpoints and interests both at regional and international levels between Iran and Russia, is a reality that nobody can deny and Tehran, in line with its multivector policy, should try to take advantage of all available capacities, including those of Russia, in order to meet its national interests. However, the assumption that due to current tension in relations between Russia and the West, Tehran can promote its interactions with Moscow to a “strategic” level, would be apparently a false assumption.
Naturally, Iran should bank on its own advantages in order to organize its strategic relations with Afghanistan with an eye to future collaboration. Therefore, under present circumstances, the field of Islamic and Iranian civilization offers the most fertile ground for cooperation between Iran and Afghanistan.
To understand the U.S. Secretary of Defense resignation, it is enough to look at history or read the memoirs of Bob Gates and Leon Panetta as Ex-Secretaries of Defense. It is a deep-seated tradition in U.S. politics: Whenever the president turns unpopular, he fires someone and clean cabinet.
Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh
The breathtaking marathon of Iran's nuclear talks [with the P5+1 group] stopped in the Austrian capital, Vienna, but not as a finishing line before going back to the past situation. It is, however, more similar to a short rest taken before negotiations begin again, which this time will continue until July 1, 2015. Although Iranian officials held high expectations about this round of negotiations to reach a final deal, many people, especially experts in foreign policy knew that the possibility of achieving a comprehensive nuclear agreement was meager.
Seyed Mohammad Kazem Sajjadpour
US midterm elections should not be assessed on the basis of exaggerated viewpoints. It is a reality that these elections can be looked upon as a development, which has precedent in domestic policies of the United States. What has been once more revealed through these elections is the traditional tug of war between two poles of positive and negative power in the United States, that is, the presidency and the Congress. At the same time, it should be noted that the final goal of both the Republican and Democrat parties is to protect the United States and promote its regional and global interest.