Understanding the Iran Nuclear Negotiations

Dina Esfandiary comes on the show to talk about the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran, including many issues that aren't explained well (or at all) in news reports. Topics covered include:

  • Netanyahu's speech to congress and Israeli objections to a deal
  • The issue of a "sunset clause" in the deal being negotiated
  • Major obstacles the negotiations still need to overcome, and what is most likely to cause them to fail
  • Problems with focusing on breakout time, and what the various centrifuge numbers being discussed really mean
  • Details on the sanctions Iran has faced, and what could happen as they are removed
  • How Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia, view the ongoing negotiations
  • What could happen if a deal isn't reached by the upcoming deadlines
  • How the Supreme Leader and the Iranian public view the negotiations

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This episode was supported by David de Bruijn. You can help support the podcast by making a small donation on Patreon!
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Yemen's Political Soap Opera

Adam Baron comes back on the show to talk about the recent political drama in Yemen. We covered some of the major events of the past few months and then discussed other issues including:

  • Former ex-president Hadi 'leaving' Sanaa for Aden
  • Embassy closures in Yemen and what that could mean for the country
  • The southern secession movement and why they've been unable to capitalize on Yemen's political chaos
  • The Houthi's aims, and the blunders that have eroded some of their popular support
  • The potential for Yemen's political problems to become far more violent
  • Failures of the international community to effectively handle the situation in Yemen
  • Role of Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other neighboring countries in the current conflict
  • Humanitarian problems that go largely unnoticed but could have serious long-term implications

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ISIS in North Africa as War Against Them Grows

Hassan Hassan comes on the show to talk about issues related to the fight against ISIS. Topics we covered include:

  • ISIS growth in North Africa
  • Where ISIS is winning, and where it is losing
  • Tactical vs. strategic effects of airstrikes on ISIS
  • Influence of Management of Savegery on ISIS actions and propaganda
  • Importance of local forces and tribes in fighting ISIS
  • Challenges to building those local forces
  • ISIS is setting the agenda, but the world needs to change that

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The Shiite Jihad in Syria and Its Regional Effects

Phillip Smyth comes back on the show to talk about The Shiite Jihad in Syria and Its Regional Effects, his recent monograph for The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Topics covered include:

  • Why Shiite jihadi groups don't receive nearly as much attention as Sunni ones
  • Recruitment methods used by Shiite militia groups
  • Risks faced by not addressing the issue of Shiite jihadi groups
  • Phillip's policy recommendations presented in his monograph

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Palestinian Statehood Efforts

Hussein Ibish comes back on the show to talk about recent issues in the Israeli - Palestinian conflict, including Palestinian efforts to join international organizations and treaties, support for Palestine from other Arab states, Israel's withholding of Palestinian tax revenue, and much more.

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