Following the U.S. Withdrawal, Iran Sees New Opportunities in Afghanistan

July 21 2021

With American troops having abandoned Afghanistan, and the Taliban making advances almost every day, Tehran seeks to use the situation to its advantage. Two weeks ago, the mullahs hosted representatives of both the central government in Kabul and the Taliban—while also concentrating troops at the border. It is unclear which of the two the Islamic Republic favors: as a Sunni group ruling a country whose population is between 15- and 30-percent Shiite, the Taliban is a rival to Shiite Iran; but it is also a fellow anti-American Islamist group. Farzin Nadimi analyzes the situation:

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Afghanistan, Iran, Shiites, Taliban, U.S. Foreign policy

An American Diplomatic Mission to the Palestinian Authority Doesn’t Belong in Jerusalem

July 28 2021

After the U.S. moved its embassy to Israel’s capital, it closed down its consulate in the city because the new embassy had subsumed its functions. But two months ago, the State Department announced that it intends to reopen the consulate, which will function as a mission to the Palestinian Authority. Elliott Abrams and Amanda Rothschild write:

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Read more at The Hill

More about: Jerusalem, Joseph Biden, Palestinian Authority, U.S. Foreign policy, US-Israel relations