Iran

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The Arak heavy-water reactor has been at the center of concerns about potential Iranian nuclear proliferation. Stringer/Reuters

The alarming consequences of scuttling the Iran nuclear deal

Critics of the nuclear deal with Iran have good reasons to be skeptical, but blocking the deal would make the United States and its allies less secure.
A billboard in Tehran. David Holt

From Greece to Iran: the importance of credibility

Lord Palmerston, Britain’s 19th-century prime minister, was reputedly the first person to have coined the phrase that Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests. Many…
One needs to understand the differences in their Islamic movements to make sense of events over recent decades in Egypt and Iran. EPA/Mohamed Messara

Ignorance and hostility fuel ‘imagined solidarity’ with Islamists

People sometimes overlook their profound differences if social forces unite them in a common, often ill-defined desire. Hostility to Muslims is creating an imagined solidarity that Islamists can exploit.
An Afghan girl looks out of a damaged window of a shrine. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Keep foreign hands off Afghanistan

As the US slows down its troop withdrawal and China increases its involvement in Afghanistan, a warning that if the country is to see peace again, foreign meddling needs to stop.
When Australians hear about Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s dire warnings and counter-terrorism raids, they could lose historical perspective on the threat posed by Islamic State. AAP/Mal Fairclough

With jihadists among us, is IS more of a threat than communism was?

Dire government warnings and counter-terrorism raids in our suburbs paint a picture of the worst threat Western nations have ever faced. A little historical perspective is in order.
Sanctions intended to be biting have more often been toothless and about giving supporters the warm, fuzzy feeling that comes from taking a principled stand. Cat dollar via www.shutterstock.com

Sanctions and divestment are feel-good policies that often fail

Sanctions have a terrible track record of success because they’re usually too weak to work and too easy to get around.
Foreign ministers Julie Bishop and Mohammad Zarif demonstrated a growing rapport between Australia and Iran in reaching agreement on some but not all fronts during her visit to Tehran. EPA

Ms Bishop goes to Tehran: a story of good news and bad news

Australia made progress on restoring trade and sharing intelligence on Islamic State in Iraq. Iran was less open to accepting the return of asylum seekers, which may prove a blessing in disguise.

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