• Military Balance Blog

    Douglas Barrie: Iran’s 'indigenous‘ cruise-missile design underscores Kh-55 heritage

    15 April 2015.  By Douglas Barrie, Senior Fellow for Military Aerospace Some 14 years after illegally acquiring at least six Raduga Kh-55 (NATO reporting name: AS-15 Kent) cruise missiles from Ukraine (China at the same time acquired six Kh-55s through the same Ukrainian sources), and in the wake of reports that it was developing cruise-missile technologies, Iran revealed the result of its efforts for the first time in early March 2015. The Soumar cruise...

  • IISS Voices

    Hebatalla Taha: The power struggle in Yemen and its paradoxical alliances

    14 April 2015.  A full-blown civil war erupted in Yemen when the Houthis marched to Aden on 22 March, sparking confrontations with southern militias. The war is essentially a power struggle between the Houthis, allied with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, supported by various Yemeni militias, but several paradoxical alliances reflect the complex and multi-factional nature of this conflict.

  • Politics and Strategy

    Mark Fitzpatrick: Five ways the Iran talks will help the NPT RevCon

    13 April 2015.  When states assemble in New York on 27 April for a four-week-long quinquennial review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), there will be ample ground for discord. The recommendations for action that were agreed upon by consensus at the last review conference (RevCon) remain largely unfulfilled. There will be griping aplenty that the five states allowed nuclear weapons under the treaty have made few tangible steps towards disarmament in this...

  • Politics and Strategy

    Mark Fitzpatrick: Iran nuclear framework is a win for all sides

    03 April 2015.  The framework for an Iran nuclear deal that negotiators reached on 2 April is a win for all involved, not just for the eight parties involved, but for the region and the world as a whole. If the details can be fleshed out by the 30 June deadline and opponents in Washington and Tehran do not derail diplomacy, the resulting agreement will prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons for at...

  • Politics and Strategy

    Mark Fitzpatrick: Let’s not judge an Iranian nuclear deal before we see it

    30 March 2015.  Despite the presence of ministers from  the seven states involved, it’s no surprise that the Iran nuclear talks did not reach an agreement over the weekend. Facing severe pressure from domestic sceptics, the Iranian and American negotiators in particular have to show that they fought hard until the very end. The ‘end’ in this situation is not well defined. The 31 March deadline for reaching an understanding was self-imposed and can...

  • Expert Commentary

    ISPI: In impending Iran nuclear deal, verification remains key

    23 March 2015.  By Mark Fitzpatrick, Director, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme As every round of Iran nuclear talks unfolds, the negotiators emerge in public to provide variations on the same mantra:  good progress was made; serious gaps still remain. With the end of March deadline for a basic understanding nigh, it is time to bridge these final gaps. I have long been pessimistic that a comprehensive agreement could be reached. This is because I did...

  • Events

    Iran and the Jihadi Challenge

    23 March 2015. 

    Discussion Meeting
    Professor Benny Morris
    Professor of History,
    Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
    Arundel House
    Monday, 23 March 2015, 12-1pm

  • Expert Commentary

    Emile Hokayem on Syria

    17 March 2015.  As the war in Syria enters its fifth year and US Secretary of State John Kerry floats the idea of opening negotiations with President Assad, Emile Hokayem, IISS Senior Fellow for Middle East Security and author of Syria’s Uprising and the Fracturing of the Levant, sees little hope for an imminent resolution to the conflict. On prospects for an end to the conflict: 'The levels of violence may drop because a lot...

  • Expert Commentary

    BBC Newshour: A 'Just War' against Islamic State?

    15 March 2015.  BBC Newshour interview with Emile Hokayem, Senior Fellow for Middle East Security Speaking to the BBC's Julian Marshall, Emile Hokayem assessed the implications of US Secretary of State John Kerry's recent statement regarding the country's policy toward Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In an interview with CBS News on 14 March, Kerry appeared to some analysts to suggest that the US would be open to pursuing negotiations directly with President Assad in an effort to...

  • Politics and Strategy

    Mark Fitzpatrick: Netanyahu’s False Analogy

    06 March 2015.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s strongest argument against the impending nuclear deal concerns the prospect that Iran could get away with cheating, especially after the limits on the enrichment programme expire in about 15 years. If and when an agreement is reached, the Western nations involved in the talks will have to provide a substantive response. Since the debate is already raging, here are my two cents. Verification of non-proliferation rules...

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