The Back Channel

US Authorizes Financial Support For the Free Syrian Army

Friday, Jul. 27, 2012 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

The US government granted the Syrian Support Group, an organization that supports the Free Syrian Army, authority to provide financial and logistical support to the armed Syrian resistance. Al-Monitor's Laura Rozen talks to the group's Washington agent about using the assistance for weapons, equipment and even salaries. 

Hezbollah and Iran May Need Plan B After Syria Bombing

Thursday, Jul. 19, 2012 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

Hezbollah Chief Hassan Nasrallah and Iran seemed stunned a day after several members of Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle were assassinated at a cabinet meeting in Damascus, writes Laura Rozen. Neither was prepared for the Syrian status quo to shift so quickly and Iran hasn't even begun to prepare for a Syria Plan B.

Syrian Defense Minister, Assad Brother-in-Law Killed in Blast

Wednesday, Jul. 18, 2012 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

Syria's defense minister and Bashar al-Assad's powerful brother-in-law were killed in the suicide bombing of a cabinet meeting in Damascus Wednesday, and several other ministers were critically wounded. Laura Rozen reports that the Free Syrian Army claimed responsibility for the attack, which marks a dramatic new phase for the rebellion.

Exclusive: Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee on War, Peace and Nukes

Wednesday, Jul. 11, 2012 | Barbara Slavin, Washington Correspondent

Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee’s spoke with Al-Monitor correspondents Barbara Slavin and Laura Rozen on July 10 2012. Read excerpts from the wide-ranging conversation.

Iran’s UN Envoy: We Will Not Initiate Confrontation

Wednesday, Jul. 11, 2012 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

EXCLUSIVE: Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations said that Iran will not "initiate any provocative steps" with the West despite the imposition of draconian sanctions, in a wide-ranging interview with Al-Monitor's Laura Rozen and Barbara Slavin. He also described recent nuclear talks as tentative and vague. Read more from the conversation.

Draft Communiqué From Action Group on Syria

Sunday, Jul. 1, 2012 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

Although Russia continued to oppose language in the Action Group on Syria statement calling for Bashar al-Assad to leave power, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisted the changes made at Saturday's meeting in Geneva did not alter that key demand. Al-Monitor's Laura Rozen obtained a draft communiqué, linked below.

US Hardens Stance In Iran Nuclear Talks

Wednesday, Jun. 27, 2012 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

Iran was prepared to discuss halting 20% enrichment in Moscow, but refused other conditions that could have meant an end to the nuclear standoff. Laura Rozen and Barbara Slavin write that the western members of the P5+1 insisted that Iran meet all the conditions in their proposal, which may indicate that the US has hardened its position.

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