Report

Kerry to Make Case for Iran Deal in Senate Today

Secretary of State John Kerry will appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this morning to present the administration’s case for the Iran nuclear agreement reached with five other international partners in Vienna last week. He is expected to respond to many of the criticisms of the agreement leveled by skeptical Senate politicians and elaborate ...

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Secretary of State John Kerry will appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this morning to present the administration’s case for the Iran nuclear agreement reached with five other international partners in Vienna last week. He is expected to respond to many of the criticisms of the agreement leveled by skeptical Senate politicians and elaborate on what the deal entails and how it will be implemented. Yesterday, National Security Advisor Susan Rice told reporters that the administration is also briefing members of Congress in classified sessions on the arrangements reached between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency to resolve the IAEA’s investigation into the possible military dimensions of Iran’s previous nuclear development. Those arrangements have not been made public.

Iranian diplomats are also trying to convince their own skeptical parliamentarians. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, appearing before the parliament in Tehran, claimed that the deal would not allow inspectors to visit Iranian military sites. Inspections of such sites were a point of contention during the talks and Western diplomats deny that Iran will be able to refuse inspections without violating the deal.

Secretary of Defense Makes Unscheduled Stop in Baghdad

The Islamic State claimed credit for bombing a security checkpoint in Baghdad yesterday, killing 20 people. U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter arrived in Iraq today for an unscheduled visit to meet with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and some of the 3,500 U.S. troops advising Iraqi forces.

Headlines

  • Water insecurity in conflict-torn Yemen is leading to declining hygiene and fears of disease outbreaks, with cases of malaria spreading from unsafe water.

 

  • A retrial of Mubarak-era Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, in office from 2004 to 2011, found him guilty of using his office to make corrupt real estate deals and increased his fine and his sentence to five years in prison.

 

  • The head of Turkey’s leading opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), said it is unlikely that Prime Minister Ahmet Davetoglu will be able to form a coalition government and predicted early elections.

 

  • Iran is believed to have executed 694 people so far this year, nearly as many as were executed over the course of all of 2014, according to Amnesty International.

 

  • Eighteen people were killed in Cairo when a party boat collided with a cargo ship on the Nile River.

Arguments and Analysis

Are Arab Oil Monarchies divided over Iran deal?” (Juan Cole, Informed Comment)

“Qatar said it had long encouraged talks between the US and Iran. This is plausible; Qatar has a reputation for insisting on dealing with all sides. Qatar said it has no bilateral problems with Iran, with which it has a ‘historic’ relationship. President Hasan Rouhani of Iran said he was sure the agreement would improve Iranian relations with Qatar. When I was in Qatar last May, locals told me that Iranian navy ships sometimes show up off the coast as a signal that Iran is not happy with Qatar’s gas exports (the two countries share a vast gas reserve, but Iran has been unable to exploit its side and the two have no treaty on how to divvy up the wealth). Rouhani may have meant in part that with an end to sanctions, Iran will be able to begin exploiting the gas reserves, and won’t resent Qatar as much.”

 

Contesting the Caliphate” (Marc Lynch, Monkey Cage Blog)

“What can political science contribute to resolving questions such as ‘how Islamic is the Islamic State’ or ‘how legitimate is Baghdadi’s claim to the Caliphate’? Such questions should be placed within a much broader set of theoretical arguments about the role of ideas, identity and culture in politics. In April, the Project on Middle East Political Science and the Transatlantic Academy convened an interdisciplinary group of scholars, including academics from Middle East studies, political science, history and religious studies, to discuss how to think about the role of Islam in political order.”

-J. Dana Stuster

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