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All commentary & analysis

Fri, Aug 7, 2020

Ammonium nitrate didn’t belong to Hezbollah, but they knew about its dangers

Hezbollah is acutely aware of the danger that such chemicals—even if not of a military grade—pose to nearby civilians, perhaps more so than any other entity in Lebanon.

MENASource by David Daoud

Lebanon Middle East

Wed, Aug 5, 2020

Jordan protests met with repression as government changes tactics

The Jordanian government must make a concerted effort to address the serious economic challenges and disparities that have marginalized a majority of Jordanians with little options left but to strike or protest the conditions they face.

MENASource by Tuqa Nusairat

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

Tue, Aug 4, 2020

Scenes from a broken Beirut

My apartment was heavily damaged by the explosion. All the windows were gone, the frames blasted out, even on the other side of the building from the explosion. I spoke to friends and colleagues in the area. They all have tales about calamities, material and personal, that have befallen them.

New Atlanticist by Nicholas Blanford

Lebanon Middle East

Tue, Aug 4, 2020

Three years after the Caliphate, Iraq’s Christians find little incentive to return

The region’s few remaining Christians find themselves caught between Iran-backed Shia militias and an Iraqi government that, nearly twenty years after the American invasion, is politically paralyzed and still unable to provide basic security and services—let alone protect the country’s embattled minority populations.

MENASource by Paul Gadalla

Iraq Middle East

Fri, Jul 31, 2020

The American moment: Creating a new balance of power in Syria

The United States should seize this moment on changes in the Syrian landscape to create a new balance of power in Damascus.

MENASource by Ayman Abdel Nour and Dania Koleilat Khatib

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

Fri, Jul 31, 2020

The Syrian parliamentary elections were a mockery

All in all, the July 19 result was not great for the Bashar al-Assad regime, but the veneer of a normal election was achieved, especially given that the low turnout could be excused by the pandemic.

MENASource by Michel Duclos

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

Thu, Jul 30, 2020

Syria’s inconsequential 2021 presidential elections must be ignored

Russia and the United States will still have to contend with Iranian influence and its far more substantial ground presence in Syria.

MENASource by Jomana Qaddour and Danny al-Baaj

Politics & Diplomacy Syria

Thu, Jul 30, 2020

When it comes to Iran, not everything that goes boom in the night is sabotage

Even though it is tempting to attribute these current events to foreign sabotage, it is important not to assume that all of these incidents have the same cause.

IranSource by Raz Zimmt

Iran Middle East

Thu, Jul 30, 2020

Iran-Syria air defense pact could cause Russian-Iranian friction

Neither Damascus nor Tehran has been happy about Moscow’s unwillingness to enable themselves or Syria to halt Israeli attacks. The signing of the Iran-Syria air defense pact, though, may change this.

MENASource by Mark N. Katz

Iran Middle East

Wed, Jul 29, 2020

The tale of an Iranian foreign minister’s rise and fall from grace

Mohammad Javad Zarif’s fall from grace cannot be considered apart from the Rouhani administration’s and the larger moderate camp’s loss of credibility in the eyes of many Iranians.

IranSource by Ali Fathollah-Nejad and Amin Naeni

Iran Middle East