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

Fearing Abandonment by the U.S., the Saudis Look to Russia and China

Sept. 15 2021

Saudi Arabia has been in the news this week because of the recent release of a 2016 FBI report on the role of its subjects in the September 11 terrorist attacks. But there is other, more timely news from the country that the press has largely ignored: a military cooperation agreement concluded last month between Riyadh, a traditional U.S ally, and Moscow, a supporter of the anti-American Iran-Syria axis. Ilan Berman comments:

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Read more at Newsweek

More about: Abraham Accords, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, U.S. Foreign policy