Iran Hawks Down but Not Out After Geneva Talks

Iran hawks here are pushing hard for Congress, where they enjoy the greatest influence, to approve a new set of extra-territorial sanctions – albeit with some tactical adjustments to take account of the newly hopeful mood coming out of Geneva – before the next round of talks between Tehran and the so-called P5+1 (the U.S., … Continue reading “Iran Hawks Down but Not Out After Geneva Talks”

Fractured Opposition Could Derail Syria Talks

Despite U.S. and Western pressure on the opposition to take part in U.N.-sponsored talks aimed at halting the two-and-a-half-year-old Syrian civil war, most experts here believe the rebels are unlikely to show up any time soon. And even if they do, the results will be unlikely to change much of anything on the ground. The … Continue reading “Fractured Opposition Could Derail Syria Talks”

Israel and the Gulf Increasingly Nervous Over Iran-US Détente

As hopeful, albeit vague, statements about talks in Geneva between Iran and the great powers continued to issue from the Swiss city Tuesday, foes of détente between Washington and Tehran maintained their own high tempo of work. The government of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and its supporters in the powerful Israel lobby, which exerts … Continue reading “Israel and the Gulf Increasingly Nervous Over Iran-US Détente”

US Suspends More Military Aid to Egypt, Arousing Skepticism

The administration of President Barack Obama announced Wednesday it was freezing hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Egyptian military pending “credible progress” toward a return to democratic rule. The State Department said Washington was suspending deliveries of big-ticket weaponry, including tanks, warplanes and attack helicopters, that make up much of the 1.3 … Continue reading “US Suspends More Military Aid to Egypt, Arousing Skepticism”

Neoconservatives Despair Over US-Iran Diplomacy

A week that began with a blistering denunciation by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of Iranian duplicity ended with diminished prospects for Israel to take direct action to address Iran’s nuclear capabilities. “The Israelis find themselves in a far worse position now than they have been for several years,” concluded Elliott Abrams, a leading neoconservative … Continue reading “Neoconservatives Despair Over US-Iran Diplomacy”

Netanyahu Stakes Out Maximalist Position on Iran

Like the proverbial skunk at the garden party, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used his turn at the podium at the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday to pour scorn on Iran’s new president, 96 hours after a smiling Hassan Rouhani departed New York after a momentous four-day stay that raised unprecedented hopes for détente with the … Continue reading “Netanyahu Stakes Out Maximalist Position on Iran”

Hard Times for Iran Hawks

Just three weeks ago, Washington’s hawks, particularly of the pro-Israel neo-conservative variety, were flying high, suddenly filled with hope. President Barack Obama, having trapped himself with his own “red-line” rhetoric, appeared on the verge of ordering air strikes designed not only to deter Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad from re-using his chemical weapons, but also, at … Continue reading “Hard Times for Iran Hawks”

U.S. Public-Elite Disconnect Emerges Over Syria

While much of the foreign policy elite here sees the tide of public opposition to US air strikes against Syria that swept over Washington during the past two weeks as evidence of a growing isolationism, veteran pollsters and other analysts say other factors were more relevant. A variety of surveys have shown that the public … Continue reading “U.S. Public-Elite Disconnect Emerges Over Syria”

Neocon Hawks Take Flight Over Syria

In an echo of the tactics they used to promote U.S. intervention in the Balkans, Iraq and Libya, a familiar clutch of neo-conservatives published a letter Tuesday urging President Barack Obama to go far beyond limited military strikes against Syria in retaliation for its government’s alleged use last week of chemical weapons that reportedly killed … Continue reading “Neocon Hawks Take Flight Over Syria”

Washington’s Worries Grow Over Saudi Ties

As the administration of President Barack Obama continues wrestling with how to react to the military coup in Egypt and its bloody aftermath, officials and independent analysts are increasingly worried about the crisis’s effect on U.S. ties with Saudi Arabia. The oil-rich kingdom’s strong support for the coup is seen here as having encouraged Cairo’s … Continue reading “Washington’s Worries Grow Over Saudi Ties”