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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.

Bishop’s Gambit in Tehran

We get the English word ‘chess’ from the Persian word Shah (king). The linguistic identification of this part of the world with chess belies its Indian origins, but in a country where the ancient nobility…
Iranians, who celebrated in the streets of Tehran following this month’s nuclear agreement, are keen to rebuild relations with the West. EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh

Julie Bishop can reach out to Iran now that confrontation has failed

By reaching out to Iran, Australia can help end a long stand-off with the West that prevented solutions to many of the world's most dangerous problems, including Syria's civil war and Islamic State.
EPA/Laurent Gillieron

Jaw-jaw still beats war-war

Churchill’s famous aphorism that it’s better to jaw-jaw than to war-war has never been more apposite or timely. Although the usual suspects are queueing up to criticise the agreement between Iran and various…
The modern Saudi state rarely steps outside of its borders militarily unless it feels existentially threatened – as it is doing now in Yemen. EPA/Yahya Arhab

Saudi incursion in Yemen more about security than sectarianism

Saudi Arabia's incursion into Yemen is the latest manifestation of a long-standing struggle between it and Iran over statist issues of conflicting national interest, security and regional hegemony.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) holds a meeting with Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif ® over Iran’s nuclear program in Lausanne on March 17, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Republican fear and loathing of Iran has international consequences

The US is just one actor in an important global non-proliferation regime that works towards preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.

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