President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear agreement is likely to add fuel to the fires of sectarianism in the Middle East.
From the cataclysmic wars in Syria and Yemen to the volatile assemblages of Iraq and Lebanon, Sunni-Shiite relations are at a breaking point. But the cause of this spike in tensions is recent, not ancient. It is rooted in politics, not piety.
To stop it from aggravating, we need a clearer understanding of the forces driving sectarian conflict. The Saudi-Iranian regional rivalry is central to it, and the Trump administration — in both its rhetoric and its policies — is aggravating rather than ameliorating it.… Seguir leyendo »
Is the Iran nuclear accord a groundbreaking agreement or a historic mistake? As the world’s attention shifts from Vienna to Washington, where Congress is set to debate this very question, it’s worth taking a step back to get a better understanding of what’s really going on. That is especially true for the deal’s skeptics, because if they looked at what has transpired from Iran’s point of view, it would be clear to them that this nuclear agreement marks a colossal defeat — for Tehran.
Why? For a start, the deal is a repudiation of the nuclear strategy of Iran’s Supreme Leader, embodied in his “resistance” approach to international relations.… Seguir leyendo »
The Syrian people are starving. According to the United Nations, about 800,000 civilians are currently under siege. In areas around the cities of Homs, Aleppo and Deir Ezzor and in parts of the capital, Damascus, no food, medical supplies or humanitarian aid can get in, and people can’t get out. Many have already died under these “starvation sieges” and hundreds of thousands teeter on the brink, subsisting on grass and weeds. In Damascus, a cleric has ruled that under these conditions, Muslims are permitted to eat normally forbidden animals like cats, dogs and donkeys.
This is not a famine. Food is abundant just a few miles away from these besieged areas.… Seguir leyendo »