Iran

Iraqis lit candles in memory of demonstrators who lost their lives as they mark the one-year anniversary of anti-government protests at Tahrir Square in Baghdad on Oct. 1, 2020.

Iraq’s Disappearance From Biden’s Agenda Is a Big Mistake

Upcoming elections offer an opportunity to turn Iraq around—and contain Iran in the process.

Indian Muslims carry Indian flags during a protest against a new citizenship law, in Bengaluru on Jan. 20, 2020.

For Modi, Courting the Arab World Begins With India’s Muslims

India’s tricky regional balance of power isn’t made any easier by sectarian tensions.

A staff member positions an Iranian flag on a stage after a group picture during the Iran nuclear talks at Vienna International Centre in Austria on July 14, 2015.

With Iran, Biden Can’t Let Perfect Be the Enemy of Good

Why any new agreement would likely be worse than resuscitating the existing deal.

As a presidential candidate, Joe Biden exits after delivering remarks on the Trump administrations recent actions in Iran and Iraq in New York on Jan. 07, 2020.

How Biden Can Help Prevent War on Iran—Right Now

Law and precedent bar the new administration from diplomacy before Inauguration Day. But that doesn’t mean its hands are tied.

U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a memorandum reinstating sanctions on Iran after the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal at the White House in Washington on May 8, 2018.

Why Biden’s Plan to Rejoin the Iran Deal Makes No Sense

This week’s escalation of tensions by Tehran looks like blackmail to force Biden to abandon sanctions—and give up leverage over the regime.

A staff removes the Iranian flag from the stage after a group picture with foreign ministers and representatives of Unites States, Iran, China, Russia, Britain, Germany, France and the European Union during the Iran nuclear talks at Austria International Centre in Vienna, Austria on July 14, 2015.

Iran Increases Nuclear Enrichment, Posing First Challenge for Incoming Biden Administration

The newest move could be negotiating leverage, but it’s set to worsen already strained U.S.-Iran relations in the final weeks of the Trump administration.

Members of the Somali military watch as firefighters work to extinguish a blaze after a car bomb exploded in Mogadishu on Jan. 29, 2019.

10 Conflicts to Watch in 2021

The world in 2021 will be haunted by the legacies of 2020: an ongoing pandemic, an economic crisis, Donald Trump’s divisive presidency—and new threats emanating from wars and climate change.

ForeignPolicy__Caste2

The Best of 2020 to Read, Watch, or Listen To

With much of the world in lockdown again, here are some of this year’s highlights to help you pass the time.

U.S. President Donald Trump

Iran: Maximum Pressure, Minimum Gain

In 2020, the Trump administration sought to bury the Iran nuclear deal for good. Biden is poised to breathe new life into the pact. 

A handout picture provided by the Iranian Army's official website on Sept. 11, 2020, shows an Iranian Ghader missile being fired during a military exercise near the strategic strait of Hormuz in southern Iran.

How Biden Can Stop Iran’s Conservatives From Undermining the Nuclear Deal

Insisting that Iran must abandon its missile program could fall into the hardliners’ trap and make a new agreement impossible.

A near-empty square in Stockholm

Our Top Weekend Reads

Swedes can’t figure out their government’s coronavirus approach, a progressive push on U.S. foreign policy, and an honest assessment of the Arab Spring’s fallout.

Anti-war activists protest in front of the White House in Washington, DC, on Jan. 4, 2020.

Biden Shouldn’t Rush to Restore the Iran Nuclear Deal

Moving quickly to resurrect the JCPOA, as Biden seems set to do, would start his presidency with a hugely divisive controversy.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on June 14, 2019.

China Won’t Rescue Iran

Despite reports of a major Chinese-Iranian trade deal, Beijing won’t jeopardize the possibility of better relations with Washington in order to cozy up to Tehran.

President-elect Joe Biden departs after delivering a Thanksgiving address at the Queen Theatre on Nov. 25 in Wilmington, Delaware. 

Will Biden’s National Security Team Include Members of the Democratic Party’s Progressive Wing?

The president-elect’s picks have deep experience in the Washington establishment. It’s unclear whether the party’s left can make its voice heard in the new administration.

An Iranian man checks a display board at a currency exchange shop in Tehran, on Sept. 29.

Biden Needs to Move Fast if He Wants a New Deal With Iran

Moderates will lose the June 2021 presidential election in Iran unless there is a new agreement and sanctions relief—and the United States can forget diplomacy if hardliners win.

A resident reads the news about the U.S. elections in Tehran on Nov. 9.

What Iran’s Leaders Really Think About Biden

The killing of a top nuclear scientist has unsettled Tehran, but it’s still talking about a new deal with the United States.

A cutout of an Israeli soldier

Israel Is the Wrench in Biden’s Iran Policy

The U.S. president-elect wants to reengage with Iran, but Israel has other plans.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on his way to a meeting with Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia in Algiers on Dec. 2, 2018.

Note to Mohammed bin Salman: Stop Digging Yourself Deeper

The Saudis need to get on Biden’s good side. Obvious places to start include releasing women’s rights activists.

Members of the Iranian armed forces pray around the coffin of slain nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh during the burial ceremony in Tehran, on Nov. 30.

How Will Iran React to Another High-Profile Assassination?

The killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a top nuclear scientist, will complicate the incoming Biden administration’s efforts to renew the nuclear deal—and could lead to escalation.

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