The US-Iran conflict: no sign of a way out

The US-Iran conflict: no sign of a way out

Iran’s limited use of violence in the Gulf has caused US President Donald Trump to adopt a more cautious posture towards Tehran. However, conflict is likely to erupt again as long as the economic sanctions remain in place. Iran has begun violating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with the aim of pressuring the international community to break the blockade and may even be willing to risk a “limited” conflict. In the US, while the prospect of elections in 2020 is likely prevent the Trump administration from hardening its stance in the short run, if it wins a second term and Iran continues its provocations, the anti-Iran hawks in the Cabinet will have maximum flexibility to make the case for military action. 

Russia’s role in the Middle East: a stabilizing force?

Russia’s role in the Middle East: a stabilizing force?

Russia has successfully leveraged its influence in Syria to become an important, if not central, power broker in the Middle East. Nowhere was that more visible than in the meeting between the Israeli, US and Russian national security advisors in Jerusalem at the end of June 2019. While nothing concrete emerged from the talks, it was clear from the security chiefs’ statements that all three countries are setting the stage to stabilize the region, drawing a line under the tectonic shifts that have transformed the Middle East in the last decade.

Turkey: between transactional pragmatism and emotional strategy

Turkey: between transactional pragmatism and emotional strategy

Turkey’s dispute with the US over its acquisition of long-range missile defence system S-400 is not a one-off: the country’s ambition to become more self-reliant in military hardware and security is a point of contention between it, the US and, more broadly, NATO....