Donald Trump’s tough talk of defeating Islamic terrorists, ripping up the Iran nuclear deal, and barring Muslims from entering the U.S. suggests a sharp pivot in Middle East policy, but could be surprising continuity with Barack Obama’s approach to the region.
The best hope for the Middle East is for sensible and responsible people in all concerned lands, especially around the Gulf, to grasp the catastrophes that will engulf much of the region if current trends continue.
Arabs have the greatest respect for the faith and culture of Iranians, as well as the indelible Persian contribution to the marvels of Islamic society. But like all worthwhile achievements, Persia’s greatest masterpieces were the product of cooperation and education, of learning from and with people of other backgrounds.
With the announcement of a nuclear deal in Vienna, a three-decade freeze in relations between the U.S. and Iran is beginning to break. A former American diplomat with a deep knowledge of Iran explains the way forward.
Amid all the excitement over an Iran deal, there has been scant discussion of Iran’s dismal human rights record. The lifting of sanctions presents an opportunity not only for big profits, but gains in the country’s human rights standards.
A diplomacy deficit between Iran and Saudi Arabia has exacerbated volatility across the Middle East. Ending the Iranian-Saudi cold war, and building a collective security framework for the Middle East is the only option likely to succeed.
Washington’s foreign policy rests on shaky ground due to longstanding mistrust by Arabs and Iranians alike. To ease tensions and fight terrorism, the United States should support a new order based on cooperation among regional powers.
In 2003, Shirin Ebadi became the first Iranian and first Muslim woman to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. She has championed human rights in Iran for three decades, and was a founder of Iran’s women’s movement. Since the anti-freedom crackdown in 2009, she has traveled the globe to press the case for justice in the Islamic Republic.