Samore: A Syria-North Korea Nuclear Relationship?

Gary Samore, an arms control official in the Clinton National Security Council and CFR’s director of studies, says it remains a mystery whether Syria was working with North Korea to receive nuclear technology. He adds, however, that it would make sense that Syria would be interested to develop some kind of deterrent, given that its neighbor, Israel, is said to have nuclear weapons.

See more in North Korea; Weapons of Mass Destruction; Syria


Yacoubian: Linkages between Special UN Tribunal, Lebanon, and Syria

Mona Yacoubian interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman

Mona Yacoubian, a former intelligence analyst for the State Department, says the special UN tribunal to investigate the assassination in 2005 of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is linked to the politics of Lebanon and Syria, with the Syrians trying to sow enough chaos to prevent the tribunal from ever getting underway.

See more in International Law; Syria; Lebanon


Aronson: Secret Syrian-Israeli Talks Produced Unofficial Agreement

Geoffrey Aronson interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman

Geoffrey Aronson, who participated in two years of intermittent talks between unofficial Israeli and Syrian representatives, said contacts continue even though they have not sat down together since last summer. Aronson says talks led to a “non-paper” and unofficial accord by which Israel would return the Golan Heights to Syria and in return get access to water in the region.

See more in Israel; Peacekeeping; Conflict Assessment; Syria


Landis: Syria Eagerly Seeking to Improve Relations with Iraqi Leaders

Joshua Landis interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman

Joshua M. Landis, a Syria expert who recently returned to the United States from Damascus, says that Syrian leaders are seeking to establish good relations with Iraq. He says the new prime minister of Iraq, Jawad al-Maliki, lived in exile in Syria for twenty-one years, but the current Syrian leadership, which had little direct contact with him, is trying hard to curry favor now.

See more in Syria