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Iran's Revolutionary Moment?
By Ilan Berman, The American Spectator, June 22, 2009

These are hopeful and perilous times in Tehran. Ever since the blatant fraud of Iran's June 12th presidential election, popular opposition to that country's ruling clerical order has been on the rise, leading more and more observers to wonder whether Iran could really be on the cusp of another revolution. Maybe so. But any analysis of the current situation in Iran must begin with the acknowledgement that revolutions, properly understood, are notoriously hard to predict.

Interesting Times In Tehran
By Ilan Berman, The American Spectator, June 16, 2009

What a difference a few days can make. Last week, ahead of Iran's presidential elections, I wrote here that the outcome would matter little in the grand scheme of Iranian politics. I may have spoken too soon. Since Friday, that country has descended into political turmoil of a type not seen since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. The cause is a rigged election that has catalyzed widespread outrage among ordinary Iranians and threatened the legitimacy of the ruling regime in Tehran.

Much Ado About Nothing
By Ilan Berman, The American Spectator, June 11, 2009

Tomorrow, Iranians will go to the polls to elect a new president in what has become the most anticipated political event in that country since the Islamic Revolution three decades ago. The results, however, are already a foregone conclusion. Whoever ends up becoming president will have little real power -- and even less influence over Iran's geostrategic direction.

Obama and the Two Muslim Worlds
By Matthew RJ Brodsky, The American Spectator, June 3, 2009

When President Obama delivers his long-awaited speech in Egypt on Thursday, he will be fulfilling his inaugural pledge to "seek a new way forward" with the Muslim world. But finding areas of mutual interest may prove far more difficult than the president imagines. That is because, in recent years, the Middle East has seen the crystallization of regional politics around two distinct ideologies. Call it the new bipolarity.

In Mideast, A Pivotal Proliferation Moment
By Ilan Berman, Defense News, May 25, 2009

If it needed another reminder of the global danger posed by Iran's nuclear program, the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has just gotten one. In early May, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear watchdog of the United Nations, revealed in a closely held report that its inspectors had found traces of highly enriched uranium in Egypt last year. The disturbing revelation is the latest sign that the regime of President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo may in fact be looking for a nuclear deterrent, despite official assurances that its program is intended strictly for "peaceful purposes." Egypt’s apparent interest in "the bomb" is hardly an isolated incident, however. It is part of a growing pattern of proliferation and nuclear development in the greater Middle East — a trend that has been intensified by Iran’s increasingly mature, and menacing, atomic effort.

A 'Reset' Is Not Enough
By E. Wayne Merry, International Herald Tribune, May 23, 2009

The Obama administration has offered to “reset” relations with Russia. But what is really needed is a change of operating system. A reset seeks to restore a previous relationship, which for former officials of the Clinton administration now back in office means the Yeltsin years. This will fail because Moscow views that period as emblematic of Russian weakness and exploitation by the West, and especially by the United States.

Karabakh: Is War Inevitable?
By E. Wayne Merry, OpenDemocracy, May 22, 2009

In a time of shooting wars, it is easy to lose sight of wars waiting to happen. This is dangerous, especially for a new US administration with an ample international agenda. Serious attention is required on Nagorno Karabakh, the simmering dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Time To Get Tough With Pakistan
By Jeff M. Smith, Far Eastern Economic Review, May 11, 2009

Back in 2007, commentators were sounding the alarm that Pakistan was approaching a precipice. A lot has changed in two years. Pakistan’s problems then—protesters clogging the streets of Islamabad demanding President Musharraf’s resignation, and sporadic Taliban raids on coalition forces in Afghanistan—were but a glimpse of the danger ahead. No one could have imagined the speed and intensity with which the Taliban and their allies have since spread east from their sanctuary in the Hindu Kush mountains to threaten an invasion of the Pakistani capital.

Beijing's Iranian Gamble
By Ilan Berman, Far Eastern Economic Review, April 13, 2009

China's leaders are betting big in the Middle East. In the high stakes game of geopolitical poker now being played between the West and Iran over the latter's nuclear program, Beijing has clearly placed its wager on Tehran. If China's leaders are right, and Iran does succeed in going nuclear, it will drastically alter regional politics, and quite possibly the global energy picture as well. If they are wrong, and the Islamic Republic is stopped from doing so, the Chinese economy could end up being one of the biggest casualties of the resulting fallout.

U.S. Pledge To Rebuild Gaza Likely Will Rearm Terrorists
By Ilan Berman, McClatchy-Tribune News Service, April 4, 2009

During the 1990s, the Clinton administration funneled millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority and its gangster-in-chief, Yasser Arafat, in the vain hope that the Palestinian leadership would focus on development and reconcile itself to the existence of the state of Israel. The funds, however, ended up doing no such thing. Fueled in part by American dollars, Arafat and his cronies preserved and strengthened their anti–Israeli animus, all the while entrenching a culture of corruption and cronyism that has crippled progress toward a Palestinian state. Yet today, the Obama administration is poised to make much the same mistake in post-Arafat "Palestine."