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  • middle east

    Scribecast: Rep. Frank Wolf Discusses Political and Religious Rights

    With economic issues dominating the domestic political agenda and much of our foreign policy focused on combating terrorism, systematic violations of political and religious rights by some of the world’s most tyrannical regimes receive less attention than perhaps they should. Rep. Frank Wolf, a Republican representing Virginia’s 5th District, is … More

    Iran Claims Obama Administration Wants Talks

    Iranian legislator Ali Motahari claimed on Wednesday that President Obama called for direct talks in a secret letter sent last week to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Motahari said that the first part of the letter warned that if Iran closed the Strait of Hormuz, it would cross a … More

    Strait of Hormuz: U.S. Should Be Ready for the Next Oil Crisis

    Tensions are rising in the Strait of Hormuz. Iran has recently yet again threatened to close the strategic strait down over the threats from the European Union to impose an embargo on buying Iranian oil. The Europeans want to do that as a part of increasing efforts by the West … More

    Iranian Court Sentences American to Death as Khamenei Restates Nuclear Defiance

    An Iranian court handed down a death sentence yesterday for Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, a 28-year-old Iranian–American man, for allegedly spying for the CIA. Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine who served in Iraq as an Arabic language translator, was born in Arizona, raised in Michigan, and traveled to Iran to visit … More

    Libyan Islamists Gaining Strength

    Although Libya has rid itself of the Muammar Qadhafi regime, it faces an uncertain future endangered by radical Islamist factions, warring militia commanders, tribal rivalries, a lack of democratic traditions, and a civil society ravaged by decades of authoritarian rule. Last week, two militias clashed violently in a turf war … More

    Iranian Threats Reflect Intensifying Confrontation over Its Nuclear Program

    Iran’s Islamist dictatorship has escalated its bellicose rhetoric in recent days, boasting about its ability to disrupt oil exports from the Persian Gulf and warning that U.S. Navy warships (particularly the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis, which recently exited the gulf) could be attacked in the future. Iran has … More

    Iraq Plunges into Chaos as Obama Administration Celebrates End of U.S. Military Presence

    The Obama Administration’s risky decision to seek the quickest possible exit from Iraq has contributed to a mushrooming political crisis there that is rapidly unraveling the hard-won gains of U.S. troops and threatens to plunge the country into a civil war that will greatly benefit Iran. Shortly after the December … More

    Abrupt End of the U.S. Military Mission Boosts Security Risks in Iraq

    Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta presided over a muted ceremony in Baghdad yesterday marking the end of the U.S. military mission in Iraq. He proclaimed that the United States had achieved its goal of establishing “an Iraq that could govern and secure itself.” But he warned that “Iraq will be … More

    Islamists Dominate First Round of Egyptian Elections

    Egyptian Islamists are poised to emerge as the big winners in Egypt’s parliamentary elections, a complex electoral process that will be held in phases until March. The first round of voting, to fill one-third of the seats in the lower house of parliament, was held on November 28–29, with run-off … More

    Iran Orchestrates Attacks on British Embassy Compounds in Tehran

    Iranian protesters illegally broke into two British Embassy compounds in Tehran today as police stood by idly, and the attack was broadcast live on Iranian television. It is unclear as yet whether British diplomatic personnel were harmed or taken hostage. Iran’s semi-official Mehr news agency reported that six British officials … More