Tag Archives: Iran

Are the US and Iran headed for a military showdown before Trump leaves office?

MURTAJA LATEEF/EPA Clive Williams, Australian National University Tensions are running high in the Middle East in the waning days of the Trump administration. Over the weekend, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, claimed Israeli agents were planning to attack US forces in Iraq to provide US President Donald Trump with a pretext for striking Iran. Just ahead of the one-year …

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I kept silent to protect my colleague and friend, Kylie Moore-Gilbert. But Australia’s quiet diplomatic approach is not working

Abedin Taherkenareh/AAP Jessie Moritz, Australian National University Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a Middle East expert from the University of Melbourne, has now been held by the Iranian government for almost two years. She was arrested in September 2018 and then convicted of spying and sentenced to ten years’ jail. She has denied all allegations against her, and the Australian government rejects the …

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Iran: decades of unsustainable water use has dried up lakes and caused environmental destruction

Lake Urmia, Iran. Artem Grachev / shutterstock Zahra Kalantari, Stockholm University; Davood Moshir Panahi, Stockholm University, and Georgia Destouni, Stockholm University Salt storms are an emerging threat for millions of people in north-western Iran, thanks to the catastrophe of Lake Urmia. Once one of the world’s largest salt lakes, and still the country’s largest lake, Urmia is now barely a …

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Why US air strikes against Iran’s nuclear programme would make matters worse

Christoph Bluth, University of Bradford Donald Trump asked his senior advisers to examine options for air strikes against Iran’s main nuclear installation, the New York Times reported recently. According to the report, the meeting occurred the day after inspectors reported a significant increase in the country’s stockpile of nuclear material. Key advisers reportedly counselled against this course of action, warning …

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University rankings don’t measure what matters


GettyImages Sioux McKenna, Rhodes University International rankings of universities are big business and big news. These systems order universities on the basis of a variety of criteria such as student to staff ratio, income from industry, and reputation as captured through public surveys. Universities around the world use their rankings as marketing material and parents and prospective students make life …

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Iran’s secular shift: new survey reveals huge changes in religious beliefs

Iran is becoming more secular. Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA

Pooyan Tamimi Arab, Utrecht University and Ammar Maleki, Tilburg University Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution was a defining event that changed how we think about the relationship between religion and modernity. Ayatollah Khomeini’s mass mobilisation of Islam showed that modernisation by no means implies a linear process of religious decline. Reliable large-scale data on Iranians’ post-revolutionary religious beliefs, however, has always …

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Is it too soon to herald the ‘dawn of a new Middle East’? It all depends what the Saudis do next JIM LO SCALZO/EPA Ben Rich, Curtin University US President Donald Trump heralded nothing short of “the dawn of a new Middle East” as the leaders of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed agreements normalising ties with Israel during …

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How Iraq’s relationship with Iran shifted after the fall of Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein: on trial in 2006 in Baghdad. Nikola Solic/EPA

Johan Franzen, University of East Anglia Following his capture by American troops, Saddam Hussein made a startling admission to George Piro, the FBI investigator tasked with interrogating him. The reason he had played cat and mouse with UN weapons inspectors for over a decade was not because he was trying to hide Iraqi production of weapons of mass destruction from …

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US refusal to withdraw troops from Iraq is a breach of international law

Supporters of Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr demonstrate against the US presence in Iraq on January 24. Ahmed Jalil/EPA

Andrew G Jones, Coventry University A US strike which killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad in January, and the counter-strike by the Iranian military on US targets in Iraq, raised serious questions about the legitimate use of force. When military force was used against targets within its territory, Iraq’s sovereignty was breached. As a country caught in the middle …

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