Article by Samuel Cutler and Erich Ferrari
Updated Mon, Nov 5
The Office of Foreign Assets Control has quietly revised some key aspects of the Iranian sanctions, allowing US companies to sell certain medical supplies to Iran. Samuel Cutler and Erich Ferrari write that while these steps could alleviate some humanitarian issues, in no way should this move be interpreted as a general easing of sanctions.
A few months after his election, President Barack Obama proposed gradual resumption of full diplomatic relations with Iran, with the goal of halting its nuclear program, Maariv's Eli Bardenstein reports, but Tehran refused to "reward" the Americans.
It's highly likely that Iran's supreme leader will have to declare a new set of compromises at the nuclear talks, partly due to Khamenei's failure to make his nuclear policies a nationalist issue, writes Meir Javedanfar. Fortunately, the same challenges that may force a nuclear compromise are also likely to deter a mad dash for the bomb.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has yet to acknowledge the extent of Iran’s economic troubles, which could undermine the stability of the country and its theocratic regime, Shahir Shahidsaless reports.
Article by Mohsen Adbel Razzak
Updated Thu, Oct 25
An Iranian minister has invited his Egyptian counterpart to visit Tehran to explore ways to boost trade between the two countries. He said that Iran can provide customs and tax relief and highlighting the role of the private sector in attracting foreign investments to both countries, reports Mohsen Adbel Razzak.
The topic for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney's final debate before the election was foreign policy, but the majority of the night was dedicated to the Middle East. From Obama's hat tip to Bush's Iran policy to Romney's concern about the Muslim Brotherhood, read original takes from Trita Parsi, Sultan Al-Qassemi and Alon Pinkas.
On the merits of this debate, and focusing exclusively on the portions devoted to the Middle East, it is safe to conclude that Mitt Romney would make a good vice president in a Barack Obama administration, writes Alon Pinkas. In fact, when they did differ it was the dovish, Wilsonian Romney who criticized the realist, Kissingeresque Obama.
In some ways, the debate added more confusion about the positions of both candidates on Iran, writes Trita Parsi. Romney vowed to pursue a different path without providing any details, and Obama appeared to shift the goalpost to suggest a return to Bush's zero-enrichment objective. The plight of the Iranian people was noteably absent.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi told Sophie Claudet in an interview that renewed protests against the Iranian government are imminent and that the opposition is working behind the scenes even if the state's crackdown has kept it off the streets. She also gave her views on Iran’s nuclear program, Iranian politics, sanctions and the Arab revolutions.
In an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor, former Israeli spy chief Efraim Halevy said Israel and the US must engage in a dialogue with Iran to understand how their adversaries think, a position rarely heard from top Israeli officials. He faulted Republican candidate Mitt Romney for making US policy toward Iran an issue in the presidential election.
Welcome to Al-Monitor! Our site brings together, for the first time, top journalists from across the Middle East including Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine and Turkey. Plus daily translations from 20 major news organizations in the region.