Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had foreign-policy successes to showcase when he spoke in Tehran’s Azadi Square today to mark the 35th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic revolution. The economic gains will follow, he said.
The latest warning by Iran, that a U.S. aircraft carrier that recently transited through the Strait of Hormuz should not do so again, is a sign to the West that should be well-observed. It tells us the regime in Tehran is ready for a fight.
It wasn’t so long ago that the Obama administration was proudly proclaiming success in dealing with Iran, succeeding where the Bush administration had failed. For a time, a presumably weakened and isolated Iran was less of a worry.
Now that the U.S. has openly accused Pakistan of helping plan and conduct the attack earlier this month on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, the Obama administration’s exit strategy from Afghanistan is looking increasingly cloudy.
President Barack Obama will want Americans to see his announcement of upcoming U.S. troop withdrawals from Afghanistan as proof that we are defeating the Taliban. But for many, his decision will only confirm that 10 years of war, more than 1,600 American lives and $444 billion of taxpayer money have been wasted. The verdict need not be so dire.
Turkey was quick to cheer the Arab Spring, when hopeful protest seemed to promise a democratic Middle East in Turkey’s own image. But the momentum for reform has stalled, and if developments in Libya, Yemen and Syria are any indication, the Arab world is headed for protracted conflict and instability. That worries Turkey.
Syria has arrived at a tipping point. After months in which the regime of President Bashar al- Assad clearly held the dominant hand, the forces arrayed against him have now multiplied to the point where a serious battle is possible.
Six months after the fall of the Mubarak regime, Egypt remains in disarray. Protesters continue to take to the streets demanding change, while dozens of secular and Islamist parties jockey for power with the all-powerful military in anticipation of elections in November.