• Strategic Comments

    Iran nuclear talks approach conclusive deadline

    26 February 2015. 

    Iran and its interlocutors have until 24 March to reach an agreement on the country's nuclear programme. Failure to do so would not mean an end to diplomacy, but would add to pressure in Washington for new sanctions to be imposed, while also increasing Tehran's desire to pursue technological advances.

  • Expert Commentary

    Financial Times: Russia and China outgun the West in civil nuclear exports

    20 February 2015.  In a guest post on the Financial Times blog, IISS Research Analyst for Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Matthew Cottee wrote that East–West nuclear rivalry has returned. Meanwhile, nuclear rivalry is shaping up in another arena: exports of civil nuclear technology represent a new battleground in which Russia – and increasingly China – are significantly outgunning the West. Read the full article at the Financial Times (subscription required) ...

  • Expert Commentary

    Prospect: The Republican Party vs Iran

    19 February 2015.  By Mark Fitzpatrick, Director, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme Since the United States Congress opened for business in January under the singular leadership of the Republican Party, its top foreign policy initiative is to put pressure on Iran over its nuclear programme. The logic is that since sanctions had forced Iran to the negotiating table, more sanctions would force Iran to give up the capability to become nuclear-armed. But economic pressure was...

  • Expert Commentary

    Deutsche Welle: No quick fix against 'nihilistic IS death cult'

    13 February 2015.  Deutsche Welle interview with Ben Barry, Senior Fellow for Land Warfare What has the US's strategy against IS, with Operation Inherent Resolve, achieved so far? It certainly contributed to halting ISIS in its tracks and from reaching Baghdad or Erbil in the north [of Iraq], both of which would have had serious political effects. And it meant that there is now a fairly stable front line in Iraq, stretching from Kurdistan to Anbar province. Quite...

  • Events

    IISS Workshop - UN Sanctions on Iran: Past and Future Developments

    12 February 2015. 

    IISS Workshop
    Amman, Jordan
    11-12 February 2015

  • Politics and Strategy

    Dana H. Allin: A US-Israeli Axis of Realism?

    06 February 2015.  When the alarm on my iPhone goes off, I usually prop my head up with an extra pillow and use the device to look at the morning’s New York Times headlines. (Whether that is a good way to start the day is another topic.) Last week, I am pretty sure, not a single morning went by without a lead story on the Times website about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s...

  • Expert Commentary

    BBC: UK ambassador - Gulf crisis 'could last 10-15 years'

    05 February 2015.  BBC Interview with Sir John Jenkins, Executive Director, IISS-Middle East The crisis in the Gulf provoked by Islamic State could last for 10 to 15 years, says Sir John Jenkins, Britain's former ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Sir John, who left the Foreign Office last week, said it was probably the worst crisis in the area since WWII. Over his 35-year career Sir John served in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Israel. He said countries in the...

  • Expert Commentary

    International Affairs: Iran’s ISIS policy

    16 January 2015.  By Dina Esfandiary, Research Associate, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme and Ariane Tabatabai This article assesses Iran’s strategy in dealing with the threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). It examines the implications of the rise of ISIS in Iran’s immediate neighbourhood for Tehran’s policies in Syria and Iraq and investigates how each of these countries affects Iranian national interests. It provides an overview of the major events marking...

  • Politics and Strategy

    Steven Simon: Defeat Iran in Syria?

    08 January 2015.  I’ve been tracking the arguments in favour of the United States intervening as a combatant in Syria’s civil war. They are varied and all make a certain amount of sense, even where they fail to explain how US interests would be served by intervention. This isn’t to say that US strategic interest is the sole legitimate premise for intervention, only that it’s reasonable to think that a calculation of interest...

  • Politics and Strategy

    Mark Fitzpatrick: Rouhani is keen to strike a nuclear deal

    06 January 2015.  Given the strength of hardliners in Iran and the red lines that have been laid down by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, I have been pessimistic about the prospects for a negotiated settlement to the nuclear crisis. In a good start to the new year, however, President Hassan Rouhani has threatened to go over their heads by putting the matter directly to the Iranian people. In an astonishing speech at...

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