For several years now, there has been a volcano of national aspirations waiting to breakdown the putrefying system of global governance and erupt out of control. The quest for peace through the creation of the United Nations (UN) is well past its use-by date. Religious violence has replaced nationalistic wars, the battlefield has shifted to shopping malls, streets and borders from strategic assets, citizens have substituted soldiers in death counts, economic violence has superseded physical violence.
Since the end of Lebanon’s civil war in 1990, the Saudi pumped billions of dollars into the reconstruction of Lebanon, employed hundreds of thousands of Lebanese, and supported the country economically, only to watch as Hezbollah grew into a political force to be reckoned with.
Not if, but when. Since the second Lebanon war in July-August 2006, a sense of inevitability seems to apply to the Israel-Hezbollah tensions, leading pundits to forecast initiation of a third confrontation. The crystallisation of the Syrian crisis, the gradual involvement of Hezbollah on Assad’s side, as well as the growing approach to the Israeli-Syrian border of militias supported by Iran, are all elements which seem to convey the possibility that the war theatre will not be limited to the Israeli-Lebanese border, but will probably extend to Syria.
Among the many diplomatic challenges that post-election Russia is going to face, perhaps its relations in the Middle East and the Syrian war are the greatest. Moscow will have to reap the rewards of a Middle Eastern foreign policy, which, despite having brought Russia back to the stage of global politics, risks seriously overstretching the Kremlin.
It took Iran, the EU, and the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – plus Germany) around nine years of formal negotiations to sign the landmark Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for the Iranian nuclear programme, commonly known as the “Iran deal”; it could take much less time and effort to undo it. Since he went into politics, Donald Trump has been claiming that the US should withdraw from the deal.
Tra le priorità strategiche delineate dall’Iran nel Piano di sviluppo 2005-2025 (20 Year National Vision) lo sviluppo di un’economia della conoscenza ricopre un ruolo di primo piano. L’obiettivo per la Repubblica islamica è diventare il primo paese della regione dell’Asia sud-occidentale (che comprende oltre al Medio Oriente anche Asia centrale e Caucaso) per lo sviluppo economico, scientifico e tecnologico.
2017 is a crucial year for Iran. In January, while the "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action" (JCPOA) entered the second year of implementation, in Washington the Trump Administration took office, with the promise to “renegotiate a disastrous deal”. In May, in Tehran, the incumbent president Hassan Rouhani won re-election by a wide margin.
Over the last ten years, the situation on the ground in Afghanistan has shown an ambiguous mix of instability and tentative signs of progress. To this very day, any future scenario bears the mark of uncertainty. How to assess the conflict and the political situation in Afghanistan? What are the broad choices for international and regional engagement? How to foster the reconciliation process with the Taliban?
Tomorrow 56 million Iranians are expected to go to the ballot box to vote in the 12th presidential election. At the end of a fierce electoral campaign, it is now clear it will be a duel between incumbent President Hassan Rouhani and the challenger, Ebrahim Raisi. These two clerics, the former supported by reformists and technocrats and the latter by conservatives and ultraradicals, are the last two candidates still in the running after the other two prominent contenders, Jahangiri and Qalibaf, withdrew in favour of Rouhani and Raisi, respectively.