post 22 May 2015
Read more from Jonathan Rugman his blog With Syria and Iraq, there is no Plan B - and the omens are not good

It has been a bad week for the American-led "strategy" against militants from so-called Islamic State - a strategy with the US president himself views with great qualms and some reluctance.

article 09 April 2015 World, Iran
Kerry warns Iran over involvement in Yemen conflict

US Secretary of State John Kerry says he is "not going to step away from our alliances" in the Middle East, and was well aware of the support Iran was providing to Houthi rebels in Yemen.

post 08 April 2015
Read more from Jon on Snowblog Iran nuclear deal: a picture that said a thousand words

Only those versed in Iranian political custom immediately understood the symbolism of a social call made by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

post 03 April 2015
Read more from Lindsey Hilsum on her blog 'Victory for us': interpreting Iran's nuclear agreement

Unlike the US, the Iranians are not releasing fact sheets about the scale of nuclear reduction because they would rather be a little vague on the compromises they've made.

article 02 April 2015 World, Iran
Iran nuclear deal: 'key parameters agreed'

The "key parameters" to a deal on Iran's nuclear programme are agreed, including restrictions on enrichment in exchange for sanctions being lifted.

post 01 April 2015
Read more from Lindsey Hilsum on her blog The Rolex ticks at Iran nuclear talks

Geneva, under UN auspices, was the Iranians choice to hold talks, but what about the date? With a deadline of midnight 31 March a new danger arose: the April Fool's Agreement.

article 01 April 2015 World, Iraq
Death sentence: alarming global rise in capital punishment

A mentally-ill British grandfather is among more than 19,000 people on death row in Pakistan, according to human rights group Amnesty International.

post 31 March 2015
Read more from Lindsey Hilsum on her blog Iran nuclear deal could have unintended consequences for US

For the Saudis, Iran - not Islamic State - is the greatest danger in the Middle East. So nuclear détente between Iran and the US will not be cost-free.

post 30 March 2015
Read more from Lindsey Hilsum on her blog Iran nuclear talks: another 36 hours to make harmony

The mood music coming out of Iran nuclear talks in Lausanne may be positive, but there are more variations to be played through before a harmonious finale can be achieved.

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