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A negotiated end to Syria crisis might allow this child to go back home. Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

How will the Syrian War be resolved?

The most serious attempt to bring the Syrian regime and representatives of the opposition together around a negotiating table together took place at the 2014 Geneva II peace talks. The talks were based…
It’s all smiles until the sanctions begin. Roland Schlager

Iran nuclear deal will come down to economic pressure

Iran has failed to reach an agreement with six world powers about the future of its nuclear programme after talks Talks in Vienna about the future of Iran’s nuclear programme have failed for the time being…
Iranian president Hassan Rohani with his old mate Vladimir Putin. EPA

Russia’s borders: Iran’s cautious friendship with Moscow

This week’s instalment in our series on Russia’s relations with its neighbours turns the spotlight on Iran. Clément Therme, a specialist in relations between the two countries, looks at how Ukraine and…
The start of a beautiful friendship? The US’s John Kerry and Iran’s Javad Zarif. EPA/Carolyn Kaster/Pool

US must not miss another chance to mend fences with Iran

It’s a desperately sad historical irony: in 2003, the United States invaded Iraq because its secular dictator was allegedly about to supply Islamist terrorists with weapons of mass destruction. About three…
Over it: Iranian president Hassan Rouhani (L) and his foreign minister Javad Zarif. EPA/STR

Frozen out of anti-IS effort, Iran is losing patience with the West

Since Hassan Rouhani was elected Iran’s president in June 2013, relations between Iran and the United States have significantly improved – though they remain very fragile. To explain why, most analysts…
Jimblah isn’t the only Indigenous rapper delivering witty and nuanced social messages. AAP/ NUZULU/ Averie Harvey

Aboriginal hip-hop meets Iranian diaspora in a cross-border rap

Rap music is a transnational genre with many socially and culturally aware artists pursuing important collaborative projects – not least a current pairing in south-west Sydney. Indigenous rapper Izzy (Jacob…
Young Iranians, like these supporters of President Rouhani, must take care when expressing themselves not to push conservative clerical leaders too far. EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh

‘Happy’ in Iran: the trials of the young and disenfranchised

In Iran everything is possible, and everything is impossible. – Football Undercover, 2008 Iranian filmmaker Ayat Najafi’s words sum up the conflicting nature of government policy on artistic expression…
Fast-growing Tehran is at the heart of the economic and demographic pressures for change in Iran. EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh

Iran peeks from behind the veil

Iran is involved in P5+1 talks with the US and Europe ostensibly about nuclear capacities. But the real talk in Iran and around the world is that Iran’s government knows things have to change. As Egypt…
After a tip-off from an Egyptian vet, Animals Australia sparked a government investigation into what an industry leader described as “horrific” slaughtering practices in Egypt last year. Tougher rules have now been promised. Animals Australia

Live animal export rules are useless without enforcement

Australia looks set to resume exporting live sheep to Iran, after Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce this week flagged the end of a 40-year ban following Iran’s Islamic revolution. Flanked by the chief…
The UN has singled out Iran for discrimination against women, so why is it elected to the main UN body dedicated to gender equality? EPA/Stefan Zaklin

Having Iran as its standard-bearer for women’s rights discredits UN

In March, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reported to the General Assembly on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Ban expressed concern that women in Iran “are subject to discrimination…
Comprehensive sanctions on Iraq started the modern debate on targeted measures. Adrian Dennis/EPA

Explainer: do sanctions work?

There seems to be a near-consensus that the West must “do something” to prevent instability in Ukraine and Russia’s other neighbours. But should that something include wider sanctions, targeting not just…
After destroying towns and cities, Syria’s civil war is spilling into Lebanon. Christiaan Triebert

No end in sight as Syria misery spreads across region

The second round of the Geneva II talks on Syria have ended with no agreement and without even a decision on the date of a further meeting. The highly experienced UN mediator, Lakhdar Brahimi, was clearly…

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