5 Top Reads

The World This Weekend

The British ambassador to the United States exits the stage, and Europe tries to salvage the Iran nuclear deal.

British Ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch speaks during an annual dinner of the National Economists Club at the British Embassy October 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
British Ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch speaks during an annual dinner of the National Economists Club at the British Embassy October 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

This week, Kim Darroch, the British ambassador to the United States, resigned after leaked cables revealed his stark criticism of U.S. President Donald Trump—leading the president to lambast Darroch on Twitter. He resigned Wednesday, after Boris Johnson, Britain’s likely next prime minister, declined to defend him in a televised debate.

Meanwhile, as Iran moves away from compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, Europe may be positioned to prevent the collapse of the landmark agreement. But the countries of the European Union have yet to prove they can save the deal.

Here are Foreign Policy’s top five weekend reads.

British Ambassador Kim Darroch speaks to guests at the ambassador’s residence in Washington on April 28, 2017.Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Capitol File Magazine

1. Diplomats Fear Chilling Effect of British Ambassador’s Resignation

The circumstances around Darroch’s departure risk curtailing diplomats’ honest assessments of the Trump administration, for fear of the consequences, Foreign Policy’s Robbie Gramer reports.


From left, EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, and then-British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson at the EU headquarters in Brussels on May 15, 2018. OLIVIER MATTHYS/AFP/Getty Images

2. How Europe Can Save What’s Left of the Iran Nuclear Deal

As Iran violates limits on enriched uranium, Europe—along with Russia and China—must resuscitate the agreement to stabilize the region, Ellie Geranmayeh writes.

Still, Iran’s noncompliance already signals the potential limits of EU foreign policy after the U.S. withdrawal from the agreement last year, Foreign Policy’s Robbie Gramer and Keith Johnson report.


Syrian youths walk past a billboard showing a picture of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad wearing sunglasses while dressed in a Field Marshal’s camouflage fatigues, on display in the centre of the capital Damascus on July 9, 2018, with a caption below reading in Arabic: “If the country’s dust speaks, it will say Bashar al-Assad.” LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images

3. Assad Hasn’t Won Anything

As the civil war in Syria continues to rage, the idea that Bashar al-Assad’s regime has declared victory ignores both the chaos on the ground and the signs of future instability, Charles Lister writes.

Meanwhile, as U.S. forces withdraw from Syria, Britain and France will deploy additional troops to compensate, Foreign Policy’s Lara Seligman reports.


Saudi officials welcome then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in Riyadh on October 27, 2011, upon his arrival with a U.S. delegation. AFP/Getty Images

4. Can’t Buy Mohammed bin Salman Love

As the U.S. Democratic presidential primary race heats up, Saudi Arabia is courting campaigns to rebuild its influence among Democrats—a departure from years of increasingly strained relations as Riyadh embraced Trump, Alia Awadallah writes.


Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan attend the Royal Ascot race in England on June 19, 2014.Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

5. The Fairy Tale Is Over for Dubai’s Royal Family

Princess Haya bint al-Hussein, a wife of Dubai’s sheikh, fled her palace for the United Kingdom, drawing attention to the inferior status and treatment of women in the United Arab Emirates, Ola Salem writes.

The princess’s escape attempt is just one in a growing trend in the Arab world, which Salem wrote about in Foreign Policy earlier this year.

Maya Gandhi is an intern at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @MDGANDHI

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