Iran, the second-largest country in the Middle East, is a multi-ethnic Islamic theocracy with the ultimate decision maker being the country's prime religious authority, its Supreme Leader. It infuses elements of democracy, such as an elected president. With one of the longest and storied histories of civilization, the current Islamic Republic of Iran was established by Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979 following the Islamic Revolution. Kohmeini became Iran's first Supreme Leader.
Iran is considered authoritarian in its suppression of rights for women and children and the violent squandering of opposing political protests.
Strategically located between the water bodies of the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and the Caspian sea, it is bordered by key middle-eastern players, such as Turkey, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Iran holds the world's second-largest natural gas supply as well as a massive oil reserve, a key element often discussed in its role in international relations and political leverage.
Before 1979, Iran maintained friendly relations with Israel via pro-Western leader Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. However, after the Islamic Revolution, Iran severed all ties with Israel and by the 1990s relations turned hostile.
Iran has escalated its nuclear technology development over the years while also funding and supporting Islamic-extremist proxy groups much closer to Israel, such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Hezbollah.
Rishi Sunak, the other Conservative candidate, would seek a longer, stronger Iran Deal and more work to bring more countries into the Abraham Accords.
Barrages of rockets targeted Israeli communities after the IDF began targeting Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives in the West Bank and Gaza.
Our collective weakness before the implacability of Iran’s dictatorship only serves to reinforce its ideologues’ belief that the West has grown weak and meek.
BEHIND THE LINES: The possibility of further deterioration remains very real. Iraq is currently passing through its most tense days since the ISIS war eight years ago.
Tehran is seen as scapegoating the group to distract attention from the deteriorating situation in the country.
All things considered, it remains unclear why US President Joe Biden thinks this round of talks with Iran will go any differently than the last.
Something sounding dangerously like calls for appeasement are being heard, but bullies never stop as long as they can find a victim.
Israel and the US are concerned the technology could be used for intel and nuke progress.
“Raisi’s record as a violator of human rights is long-standing and clear,” wrote the senators in question.
The drill comes as Israel warns of Iran’s growing presence in the Red Sea.