Israeli opinion generally regards the country’s efforts to contain Iran, especially in Syria, as having been successful. In fact, the trendline runs the other way: Iran is constraining Israel, entrenching all around the Jewish state.
Binyamin Netanyahu has won the Israeli election, setting the scene for a right-wing administration which may well be tempted to formally annex the occupied territories and set Israel on a dangerous gambit.
The uproar in the wake of the death of Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul continues unabated. France, Germany and the UK are coordinating their responses, and are adopting a different approach from that of the US. But what are the considerations governing any action?
The US administration pretends that its decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran is a radically new approach which may change the entire regional strategic equation, similar to the huge policy reversal towards China executed by President Nixon in the early 1970s. But the Trump White House will be disappointed; the comparisons with Nixon are misconceived.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) avoided a decision to return Iran to its blacklist of countries not doing enough to combat money laundering. Iran’s continued litany of financial crime failings further undermines the future of the country’s nuclear deal with Western governments.