United Kingdom

  • Europe Needs To Persuade Iran, Not Just Trump, To Save The Nuclear Deal

    As French President Emmanuel Macron arrives in Washington, a top priority will be convincing his American counterpart to stay within the landmark nuclear agreement with Iran.

    But judging from this analyst’s conversations with Iranian diplomats in Europe and New York over the past week, Macron and his colleagues in Germany and Britain may have an equally crucial task persuading Iran to remain within the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) if US President Donald J. Trump fails to reissue waivers of US sanctions on the next deadline, May 12.

    Despite all the attention paid to the US-Iran aspect of the nuclear issue, Iran’s main expectation upon signing the JCPOA was that it would be able to restore and increase economic relations with Europe, traditionally Iran’s major trading partner.

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  • Emmanuel Macron: The Trump Whisperer?

    French President Emmanuel Macron said in a television interview on April 15 that he convinced US President Donald J. Trump not to withdraw troops from Syria.

    “Ten days ago, President Trump was saying ‘the United States should withdraw from Syria.’ We convinced him it was necessary to stay for the long term,” Macron said in the TV interview.

    Macron said that he had also persuaded Trump “that we needed to limit the strikes to chemical weapons [sites], after things got a little carried away over tweets.” He has since tried to walk back those comments.

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  • World Reaction to Strikes on Syria

    The United States, the United Kingdom, and France on April 13 launched strikes on Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack which they blamed on Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

    While US Defense Secretary James Mattis described the strikes as a “one-time” shot, the Western allies warned more strikes could come in the event of another chemical weapons attack in Syria.

    Here's a look at world reaction to the strikes.

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  • O'Toole Quoted in New York Times on Sanctioned Russian Oligarchs and the U.K.

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  • Russia’s Attack in the UK: the Other Beast From the East

    The attempted murder of a former Russian intelligence officer in the United Kingdom (UK) has not only triggered reprisals from London, but more importantly demonstrated how easy it has been to drive wedges into Western politics.

    Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent, and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a nerve agent created by Russia on March 4 in Salisbury, a rural corner of Britain. In response to the incident, British Prime Minister Theresa May expelled twenty-three Russian diplomats from London. The Kremlin retaliated by expelling twenty-three British diplomats from Moscow.

    As a nation, Russia may be economically, socially, and politically weaker than it appears, but the Kremlin has a knack for finding weaknesses in its adversaries. It has found them aplenty in the UK. As a result, beyond placing the blame at the Kremlin’s doorstep through a series of statements, the UK, United States, and European allies have not committed to any cohesive and coordinated response to the attack.

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  • Full Speed Ahead to Brexit?

    Brexit may not be avoidable after all.

    The United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) announced on March 19 that they have agreed on a “large part” of an agreement that would result in Britain leaving the EU.

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  • Britain Expels Russian Diplomats Over Attempted Assassination. Is that Enough?

    British Prime Minister Theresa May on March 14 expelled twenty-three Russian diplomats and suspended high-level contacts with Moscow after blaming Russia for poisoning a former Russian spy and his daughter in the United Kingdom. The expulsion, which May described as the largest in more than thirty years, will add further strain to an already tense relationship between London and Moscow.

    But is that an adequate response to ongoing Russian belligerence?

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  • From Crimea to Salisbury: Time to Acknowledge Putin’s Global Hybrid War

    Since Russian troops began seizing government buildings in Crimea four years ago, the international community has become accustomed to encountering new acts of Russian aggression on an almost daily basis. Whether it is masked men in eastern Ukraine, a chemical weapons attack in the English countryside, or an attempted coup in the Balkans, the process is more or less the same—faced by a fresh round of accusations, the Kremlin denies everything and declares, “You can’t prove it was us.” If the evidence pointing toward Russia is particularly damning, Moscow then insists that those involved were non-state actors operating entirely independently of the government. Vladimir Putin opted for this position during his recent NBC News interview, dismissing indictments against thirteen named Russians for meddling in the 2016 US presidential election by saying, “So what if they’re Russians? They do not represent the interests of the Russian state.” It was a similar story when an undisclosed but apparently large number of Russian troops died during an attack on US forces in eastern Syria in early February 2018. As news of the debacle began to leak, Kremlin officials downplayed the scale of the Russian losses while stressing that those involved were private citizens and in no way connected to the Russian armed forces. Even in such apparently open-and-shut cases as the recent assassination attempt in Salisbury, England, Moscow denies everything and then plays the Russophobia card.
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  • From Russia With Hate

    The poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal, his daughter, and twenty-one other British citizens in Salisbury is the most recent of too many such examples. 

    On March 12, days after the attempted assassination of Skripal, Nikolai Glushkov, a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in his home in London.

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  • A Threat to May's Unrealistic Brexit Stance

    British Prime Minister Theresa May is entrapped in a maze of blind alleys, self-delusion, and bitter divisions over the United Kingdom’s future relationship with the rest of the European Union (EU) after Britain is due to leave the EU in just over a year’s time—at precisely 11:00 p.m. on March 29, 2019.

    She will try to grope her way forward in a major speech on March 2, even though she is still far from finding solutions likely to prove satisfactory to her governing Conservative Party, to Parliament, or to British voters—let alone to the EU itself.

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