5 Top Reads
The World This Weekend
Iran’s saber-rattling falls flat, and Alabama’s anti-abortion law echos Romania’s past.
This week, Iran antagonized its allies and adversaries alike through outspoken contempt for U.S. sanctions and the remnants of the 2015 nuclear deal.
Meanwhile, in the United States, lawmakers in Alabama embraced a near-ban on abortion. For decades, communist Romania was a real-life test case of what can happen when a country outlaws abortion entirely, and the results were devastating, Foreign Policy’s Amy Mackinnon writes.
And in Sudan, talks between civilians and the military to determine what comes next for the country ground to a halt following a violent week in Khartoum, where protesters were shot in the streets.
Here are Foreign Policy’s top five weekend reads.
Four U.S. lawmakers have sent a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump expressing their concerns that his administration’s approach to Iran is reflective of a broader pattern that involves “inflating threats and bending intelligence to justify dangerous, predetermined policies,” Foreign Policy’s Robbie Gramer reports.
Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known by the nickname “Hemeti”—a former warlord and head of the janjaweed militia—has accused Sudan’s protesters of being drug addicts and expressed frustration that they have been “blocking the streets.” As second-in-command of the country’s military council, he could be the central threat to the country’s hopes for a democratic transition, Jérôme Tubiana writes.
Romania’s dystopian anti-abortion policies during its communist years under Nicolae Ceausescu should serve as a warning to any country looking to place reproductive health care out of the reach of women, Foreign Policy’s Amy Mackinnon writes.
Washington and its Afghan allies are trying to keep a desperate foothold in major Afghan population centers such as Kunduz city—while ceding much of the rest of the country to the Taliban—in hopes of forcing concessions at the peace talks in faraway Doha, Qatar, Andrew Quilty reports.
Fragmented but determined Cameroonian armed groups such as the Ambazonia Military Forces are slipping across the border into Nigeria and leveraging the fundraising power of the Cameroonian diaspora to fuel their fight for a breakaway state, Gareth Browne reports.