Mistrust in US’ ties with Persian Gulf states fuels regional anxiety about Iran, says Atlantic Council’s Bilal Y. SaabMany of the United States’ Persian Gulf allies are anxious about Iran’s activities in part because of the high levels of mistrust in their own relationships with Washington, the Atlantic Council’s Bilal Y. Saab said July 7.
“The bottom line of it all is it is not just what Iran is doing, it is just the fact that they are so concerned about the current state and the future of the relationship with the United States. Had that been intact, had there been no concerns about that, I think that the partners would be far less concerned about what Iran is doing,” said Saab, a Resident Senior Fellow for Middle East security at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security.
“It’s just that there is so much uncertainty in that relationship and even mistrust—there is no secret about that—that the Iran challenge as a whole is amplified,” he added.
A deal on Greek terms will weaken Europe, says Atlantic Council’s Andrea MontaninoEurope will be weakened by a financial aid deal with Greece that is seen to be solely on Athens’ terms, says the Atlantic Council’s Andrea Montanino.
Greek banks are on the verge of running out of cash and the European Central Bank (ECB) decided not to expand an emergency assistance program, raising fears of imminent bankruptcy for Greece.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras failed to present a new Greek proposal for an aid deal with creditors at an emergency Eurozone summit in Brussels July 7. The European leaders gave Greece until July 12 to avoid bakruptcy.
“If a deal is seen as fair to all European citizens, it will reinforce Europe because it will demonstrate to the world that Europe can maintain its rule-based system when dealing with a crisis,” said Montanino, Director, Global Business and Economics Program at the Atlantic Council.
“But if it is seen as a victory for Greece alone, it will weaken Europe,” he added.
Atlantic Council’s Bilal Y. Saab says Iran nuclear deal will not pacify the regionAs US, European, and Iranian negotiators race to conclude a deal that would limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for an end to punishing economic sanctions, the Atlantic Council’s Bilal Y. Saab says that alone won’t bring security to the region—nor will it satisfy Israel or Iran’s loudest critics on Capitol Hill.
On June 30, with only hours to spare, officials in Vienna extended their deadline for talks by another week when it became clear that all sides needed more time. But, as Saab, a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, explained, “the hard work does not stop here, and in fact, it may have just begun.”
The Kremlin has presented one false objective after the other for this aggression. On February 27, 2014, "little green men"—that is, Russian special forces in Russian uniforms but without insignia—occupied the Crimean regional parliament. The next day, they took over the peninsula's two international airports. Within two weeks, these troops had skillfully occupied all of Crimea.
While the tank was impressive—when it worked—it pales in comparison to Russia's other main weapon: its own history. Throughout the Ukraine conflict, Russia has weaponized its own history to suit its purposes. These range from absurd announcements, such as the recent proclamation by the Russian prosecutor general's office that it began investigating the legality of the 1991 independence of the three Baltic republics to its reliance on historically dubious ideologies like Novorossiya to justify the Donbas insurgency.
In fact, it's that scandal—not the one involving spying by the National Security Agency two years ago—that's grabbing all the headlines in Brazil today. Back in 2013, the NSA's unauthorized eavesdropping of Rousseff's phone calls and emails led the Brazilian head of state to cancel her planned US visit.
The Global Business and Economics Program will be monitoring and analyzing the situation closely, and will regularly update this page.