Whoever is behind the killings of Iranian nuclear scientists should be praised not censured, writes James Kirchick in The Weekly Standard.
The logic behind this assassination campaign—and it should be reasonable to assume at this point that the deaths of these scientists are not isolated incidents—is not difficult to understand. Not only does killing Iranian nuclear scientists eliminate precious know-how, it also sends the message that working for the country’s nuclear program is dangerous.
Long-standing rivalries are being played out in Iraq, and not to the benefit of the already fractured nation, write Morton Abramowitz and Jessica Sims for The National Interest.
Iran and Turkey also support opposing blocs in Iraqi politics, and Erdogan’s war of words with Maliki is as much about Iran. The Syrian debacle has furthered the tensions between Turkey, Maliki’s Iraq and Iran. These tensions will grow. Erdogan’s once-private hope of personally helping bridge the Sunni-Shiite gulf has proved elusive.
Writing in Foreign Policy, David Rieff expresses surprise at the readiness of some for military intervention in Syria.
…despite the disaster of Iraq, looming withdrawal in what will amount to defeat in Afghanistan, and, to put it charitably, the ambiguous result of the U.N.-sanctioned, NATO-led, and Qatari-financed intervention that brought down Muammar al-Qaddafi’s regime, is how nearly complete the consensus for strong action has been even among less hawkish liberals…
Richard Weitz of The Diplomat explores the real reasons behind the Chinese and Russian vetoes of a UN resolution on Syria.
Russian and Chinese officials argue they are trying to achieve a peaceful resolution to the conflict through negotiations within the framework of an international consensus. They claim that the resolution’s backers were trying to interfere in the internal affairs of a U.N. member country by seeking to change its regime in pursuit of their larger goals of controlling the region. Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Russian Security Council, said Western governments were confronting the Syrian regime not for repressing its domestic opponents, but because of its ties with Iran.