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August 24, 2009

Monetary Policy
2009.8.10.OilImportBillBreakeven3.0 Iran

This chart plots oil prices against Iran’s estimated import bill “break-even” oil price — the price below which Iran either had, or would have had, to find sources of hard currency other than oil e…

January 4, 2018

A gas flare on an oil production platform is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Gulf July 25, 2005. Oil and the Iran Protests

It doesn’t take much these days to remind oil traders that Middle East geopolitical risk can raise oil prices. Unrest in Iranian cities is the latest case in point. News and video records of major pr…

February 5, 2018

Iran's Imperial Ambitions Challenge Middle East Borders

In May, 2017 Major General Qassem Soleimani, chief of the Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps’ foreign operations branch known as the Qods Force, visited the Iraq/Syria border in the company of an Iran-…

December 20, 2017

United States
trump iran deal The Iran Deal Saga Continues

An important legislative deadline passed last week in Washington without much mention. You might remember that back on October 13, President Donald Trump announced he would not certify that Iran was …

August 17, 2017

"Reform" in Iran

During June’s presidential election in Iran, many Westerners strongly hoped for a Hassan Rouhani victory. Rouhani, the incumbent president, was a “moderate,” the argument went, and during the campaig…

December 29, 2017

The Iran Protests -- and The New York Times

In the last few days there have been anti-government protests all over Iran. The BBC reports this as of Friday night, in a story entitled “Iranian cities hit by anti-government protests.” Anti-g…

October 8, 2017

The Coming Confrontation Between Israel and Iran

In the United States, discussions of Iran have for the last few years been mostly about the JCPOA—the nuclear deal negotiated by President Obama. In the Middle East, things are different. This is …

October 14, 2017

Iran Nuclear Agreement
John Kerry's Attack on the Iran Nuclear Decision

Former President Obama and former Vice President Biden have been among the many Democrats who have long complimented former President George W. Bush for his demeanor and conduct after leaving office…

September 18, 2017

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Is Iran the New North Korea? Not Even Close

Israel is alarmed about Iran's intentions — but that's nothing new. Flawed as it is, the nuclear deal is holding.

March 13, 2018

Middle East and North Africa
Cars pass by a poster of Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for the upcoming presidential election, in Cairo, Egypt, February 19, 2018. The writing on the poster reads: "Long live Egypt". REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany Strongmen Are Weaker Than They Look

Authoritarians are on the rise around the world, but history shows they’re mostly helpless.