Foreign Policy

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Iran’s Long-Game Diplomatic Strategy

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani celebrates the completion of an interim deal on Iran's nuclear program on Nov. 24, 2013, by kissing the head of the daughter of an assassinated Iranian nuclear engineer. (Iranian government photo)

Iran has sought negotiations with the U.S. for two decades, but both Democratic and Republican administrations favored hostility demanded by Israel and Saudi Arabia. Finally, Iran found a track – sacrificing much of its nuclear program – to achieve a breakthrough, writes Gareth Porter for Middle East Eye.

Coming Under ‘Fire’ at Korea’s DMZ

Women Cross DMZ walk in Pyongyang, North Korea at the Monument of Reunification  (Photo by Niana Liu)

If you try to address controversial foreign policy issues these days – without chest-pounding belligerence – you can expect to be denounced by a well-funded cottage industry of “human rights activists” and “citizen journalists,” a phenomenon that Ann Wright confronted when crossing from South to North Korea.

The Path Ahead for Palestine

Palestinian leader Mustafa Barghouti (Photo credit: Aude)

Israel under Prime Minister Netanyahu is showing no inclination to resolve the long-festering conflict with the Palestinians who remain harshly repressed in an apartheid-like system as Jewish expansion continues into Palestinian lands, a crisis that PLO leader Mustafa Barghouti describes to Dennis J Bernstein.

The World Rebukes Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations in 2012, drawing his own "red line" on how far he will let Iran go in refining nuclear fuel.

Exclusive: Led by President Obama, six world powers ignored Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s harangues against Iran and agreed to a plan for limiting – not bombing – Iran’s nuclear program. But Netanyahu wields more sway with Congress and the mainstream media, which parrot his complaints, writes Robert Parry.

The Iran-Nuclear Choice

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, announcing the signing of the Iran-nuclear agreement on July 14, 2015. (White House photo)

Many Republicans will oppose the Iran-nuclear deal to discredit President Obama and some Democrats will succumb to pressure from Israel, but the ultimate choice is whether politics and pressure will overrule the world’s interest in constraining Iran’s nuclear program, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Mess that Nuland Made

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

Exclusive: Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland engineered Ukraine’s “regime change” in early 2014 without weighing the likely chaos and consequences. Now, as neo-Nazis turn their guns on the government, it’s hard to see how anyone can clean up the mess that Nuland made, writes Robert Parry.

Touchy Issue: Talking with ‘Terrorists’

Afghan commandos demonstrate their skills for U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Camp Morehead, Afghanistan, April 23, 2012. (Defense Department photo by D. Myles Cullen)

Official Washington often exacerbates foreign conflicts by shoving them into misshapen narratives or treating them as good-guy-vs.-bad-guy morality plays, rather than political disputes that require mediation. The problem is particularly tricky with “terrorist” groups, writes ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

‘Secret’ History of the Greek Crisis

A scene in Santorini in the Greek islands.

The past may be prologue, but it is first necessary to know what that past is, a growing problem in a modern age when so much is miswritten, misunderstood or forgotten. This dilemma of “secret” history is now a factor in the Greek debt crisis, says ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk.

Fallout from Reagan’s Afghan War

Ronald Reagan, 40th U.S. President

In the 1980s, President Reagan funded and armed Islamic fundamentalists to defeat a Soviet-backed secular regime in Afghanistan. Now, one of those ex-U.S. clients is throwing his support behind the brutal Islamic State, a lesson about geopolitical expediency, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Obama’s Posturing Risks Iran-Nuke Deal

Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in a bilateral discussion in Vienna before Iran-nuclear negotiations on June 30, 2015. (State Department Photo)

The Obama administration is risking the success of the Iran nuclear negotiations by playing some political theater to appear tough to its Republican and neocon critics in Official Washington, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.