The Sunni-Shia conflict: the aims of belligerents

Brian M Downing  The conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran did not begin by the happenstance of a border dispute or the sinking of a passenger liner. It came about by international diplomacy as surely as a multinational trade agreement. As murderous and chaotic as wars are, they have a Read More …

Making sense of Netanyahu’s Iran policy  

Brian M Downing  Prime Minister Netanyahu repeatedly warns of Iranian dangers to his country and the region. He tried more than once to persuade the United States to destroy Iranian nuclear sites and mobilized his considerable resources to press the White House into action. Neither of the previous two presidents obliged. Read More …

Is conflict with Iran coming, again?

Is conflict with Iran coming, again? Brian M Downing Throughout the campaign Donald Trump criticized his chief adversary for supporting the Iranian nuclear deal of 2015. The president-elect has backtracked on several matters, including prosecuting Hillary Clinton and building a physical wall along the Mexican border. Trump has not stepped Read More …

President Trump takes on the Middle East – Iran

President Trump takes on the Middle East – Iran Brian M Downing No newly-elected president has caused more anxiety and speculation than Donald Trump. His hastily proposed polices and mercurial temperament worry foreign leaders and fellow Republicans alike. Many US foreign policy experts have publicly declared him unfit for the presidency. Read More …

Downing Reports: Israeli foreign policy after the Iran nuclear agreement 

Israel mobilized its considerable resources in an effort to block the nuclear deal with Iran in congress. Think tanks, lobbies, and the Religious Right denounced the agreement, repeatedly and vociferously, on television and talk shows and most importantly in the senate. Saudi Arabia made the same effort. Nonetheless, the Obama administration thwarted Read More …

Analysis: Behind Prime Minister Netanyahu’s hard line by Brian M Downing

  While many parts of the world have called the Iranian nuclear deal a triumph of diplomacy, Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has branded it an “historic mistake, even though international inspection teams will monitor the number of centrifuges and see that Iran’s uranium is well below weapons grade. The Read More …