After the Arab Spring: Iran's Foreign Relations in the Middle East

The final arbiter of Iran's foreign policy, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Wikimedia Commons)

Al Qaeda’s Safe Haven In Iran

Iran's border with Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Treasury Department yesterday identified six al Qaeda members as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.[1] These six terrorist operatives form a network that funnels money and personnel from the Gulf to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan via Iran. The head of the network, Syrian-born Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil, operates from inside Iran with the full knowledge of the Iranian regime.

Iran's Strategic Offensive in Iraq

The Queens Royal Lancers on patrol in Maysan Province, Iraq, bordering Iran. (Source: Defence Image Database)

In recent months, the Iranian regime has reinvigorated its use of hard and soft power tactics in Iraq as a means to undermine the American presence in Iraq and exert greater influence over the Iraqi government’s policies. Through its actions Iran is demonstrating that it is willing and capable of both exploiting the Iraqi state and killing Americans.  

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Iran Drives Nuclear Program Forward

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano addresses the Board of Governors. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

Iran has long stonewalled the IAEA, the organization tasked with enforcing multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions that demand a halt to Iran’s illicit nuclear activities. And this week the rogue regime continued its march: Iranian leaders announced steps to accelerate and harden their nuclear program, ignoring recent measures taken by the U.S. and UN that included multiple rounds of diplomacy and sanctions meant to change the regime’s behavior.

China-Iran Ties: Assessment and Implications for U.S. Policy

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates meets with Chinese defense ministry officials in January 2011. (Photo by Air Force Master Sgt. Jerry Morrison,

Khamene'i's Balancing Act

This article appears in the Winter 2011 issue of Middle East Quarterly.

Seventeen months after the fraudulent June 12, 2009 presidential election, which threw the Islamic Republic into its worst political crisis since the 1979 revolution, and five months into the latest round of international sanctions against Iran,[1] Ayatollah Ali Khamene'i is desperate to demonstrate that he is the legitimate supreme authority in Iran.

Internal Divisions Mask External Unity

Highway into Tehran (photo available at Wikimedia Commons)