• The President’s Speech and the Prospects of an Iranian-Israeli War

    The evening US President Donald J. Trump took the United States out of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), it smelled in Israel as if war was coming. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut short a trip to Cyprus. His Chief of Staff canceled his speech in the prestigious Herzliya conference. A few minutes before President Trump began his remarks, the Israel Defense Forces ordered residents of the Golan Heights (a northern region bordering Syria to brace for a possible attack from Syria, due to “abnormal movements of Iranian forces in Syria.” CNN reported that American officials had similar concerns and the State Department issued a travel advisory for the Golan Heights.

    Shortly after the president’s speech, Israeli planes launched what seemed to be a pre-emptive strike against an Iranian missile site located in a military base in southern Syria. The following day, Iranian forces fired a barrage of rockets on Israeli posts in the Golan. Israel retaliated (or rather, used the opportunity) to conduct a massive air raid on dozens of Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria.

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  • Slavin Quoted in The Independent on the Iran-Israel Clash in Syria

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  • Blanford Quoted in The Daily Beast on Hezbollah's Brace for a Showdown with Israel

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  • With Iran and Israel at the Brink, Where Does Hezbollah Stand?

    On April 29, 2018, Israel carried out airstrikes against a number of Iranian positions in Syria, including a weapons storage site that housed a large cache of Iranian surface-to-surface missiles. This is only the latest strike in Israel’s increased attacks against Iran in Syria in 2018. Previously, Israel struck the T4 (Tiyas) airbase on April 9, 2018 in a strike that served a dual purpose: to retaliate against the base from where an armed Iranian drone shot down over Israeli airspace in February was launched, and to produce a crippling strike against Iran’s UAV capabilities in Syria. Both sides have exchanged a war of threats in recent weeks, and many are wondering how, and more significantly, when Iran will respond. Many analysts are concerned that a direct Iranian attack on Israel will spark a regional war.

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  • How the World Is Reacting to Trump’s Iran Decision

    US President Donald J. Trump on May 8 withdrew the United States from the multilateral nuclear agreement with Iran.

    The deal—formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)— was struck in 2015 by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, Germany, and Iran.

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  • Are Israel And Iran Headed To War?

    Early in the morning on April 9, missiles streaked through the Syrian sky toward the Tiyas (T-4) air base in Homs province, northeast of Damascus. Besides Syrian forces, the base hosts Russians and Iranians, members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force. Several Iranians were killed in the strikes.

    Syria, Russia, and Iran blamed Israel for the attack on T-4.

    Israel neither confirmed nor denied that it carried out the strikes.

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  • Can Russia Serve As An Honest Broker Between Israel And Iran?

    Victory in war often brings with it unforeseen challenges and obligations.  Russia is now learning that to sustain its victory in Syria’s civil war it must play a role as an arbiter or honest broker between Iran and Israel lest their rivalry explodes into large-scale combat, engulfs the entire region, and undermines Russia’s newly-acquired position there.  Such a war would utterly confound Russia’s interest in stabilizing a post-civil war Syria under Bashar al-Assad and retaining the bases and lucrative contracts it has won as well as its regional status as a key superpower without whom nothing can be accomplished. 

    Apart from the destruction it would wreak, an Iran-Israeli war would consume Syria, bring the United States back to the Middle East in a big way, and force Russia to choose between the two states against its own preferences.  In other words, this war could wipe out all of Russia’s recent gains from its intervention in Syria.

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  • Why Netanyahu’s Revelations Are Significant

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on April 30 provided a twenty-minute PowerPoint presentation of secret Iranian nuclear documents, acquired by Israeli intelligence. The information revealed will be unlikely to change many minds about the wisdom of the nuclear deal with Iran, but it is significant. It shows that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was concluded under false pretenses and that Iran may currently be in violation of the accord.

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  • Netanyahu: Iran Lied About Its Nuclear Weapons

    Less than two weeks before US President Donald J. Trump is due to decide on the future of US participation in the Iran nuclear deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that his country has found proof Iran lied about the extent of its nuclear program. 

    In a speech delivered on April 30, Netanyahu said Israel has collected more than 100,000 files and roughly 180 CDs worth of evidence to show that Iran had nuclear capabilities beyond those revealed in negotiations to establish the nuclear deal. The material was reportedly obtained by Israeli intelligence from a secret storage facility in Tehran. 

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  • The JCPOA Crisis and Israeli-Iranian Relations

    Much of the discourse on the future of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear agreement between the P5+1 powers and Iran, has centered broadly on two issue sets. The first comprises the issues between Iran and the six powers; the second, perhaps more widely-discussed are dynamics between the United States and the other five powers.

    However, any significant change to the agreement is bound to affect another front: the already strained Israeli-Iranian relationship. Indeed, the current debate around the JCPOA unfolds during the tensest period ever in Israeli-Iranian bilateral relations. On April 20, Hussein Salami, Vice Head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), stated that “hands are on the trigger and missiles are ready…north and west of Israel are at the intersection of fire.” Directly addressing Israelis, he further stated, “You will not escape. You live in the dragon’s mouth.”

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