Cesran International

Recent Articles

  • The US, Iran, and Missile Defense: The Inside Story

    Prof. Scott Lucas   The media will be buzzing for the rest of the day about an American “scrapping” of its plans to base missile defense in sites in Poland and Czechoslovakia. Amidst the drama, it may not put together the story, which is as much about US-Iran relations and an Obama “grand initiative”, to

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  • How to Engage Iran (If You Must)

    Ilan Berman After months of dithering and delay, the Iranian government appears to have grudgingly accepted the U.S. president’s diplomatic overtures. Just shy of the deadline for dialogue set by the White House, the Islamic Republic has announced its readiness to offer new “proposals” for talks over its nuclear program. The move is a political

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  • Oil Realism in the Middle East

    Shlomo Ben-Ami   No matter how important rising oil powers outside the Middle East are becoming, the region will continue to be the world’s main source of energy for years to come. Unlike Russia, the Middle East’s OPEC members act as a cartel that produces well under capacity. At current production rates, Russia will be

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  • Iran: OK, The Cabinet’s In, Has Ahmadinejad “Won”?

    Prof. Scott Lucas   Today, on Iran’s “weekend”, should be a political catch-your-breath day after the culmination of Parliament’s approval of 18 of 21 proposed Ministers for the Ahmadinejad Cabinet. News slowed to a standstill last night, and there is almost nothing of significance this morning. There are Friday prayers in Tehran, but no sign

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  • Egypt’s Role Critical as Mideast Peace Mediator

    Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and U.S. President Barack Obama expressed optimism about attaining Middle East peace after their White House Meeting on Tuesday. But journalists and regional analysts are far less confident about the prospects. Egypt as Mediator – Past and Present   This week’s high-profile visit – Mr. Mubarak’s first to the White House

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  • Iraqi Arabs and Kurds: How Wide Is the Gulf?

    Iraq’s Arab-led central government and Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq are talking, but they are still far from agreement on issues of land and oil that threaten the country’s stability. Whether they can reach a compromise and bridge those differences while U.S. troops are still there to provide a buffer is doubtful. Iraqi Prime Minister

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  • Iran: Government Says, “Overweight? Try Prison”

    Prof. Scott Lucas   From Press TV, “Ahmadinejad aide says jail improves health condition”: Amid concerns over health conditions and treatment of Iran’s post-vote detainees, an aide to the Iranian president moves to defuse the controversy by saying that serving time in prison helps you understand the importance of keeping your weight under control. Ali-Akbar

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  • US Sanctions and Iran

    Scott Lucas, Prof.   Throughout the Iran crisis, we have referred to US-based efforts to manipulate the conflict for a much different objective: confronting Iran over its nuclear programme.   Part of our annoyance is that this objective — whether cynical or disingenuous — demeans the issues of importance to Iranians. There is potentially, however

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  • Iran: The “40th Day” Memorial and the Inauguration

    Scott Lucas, Prof. The political scene in Iran is always shifting, but an hour last night brought dramatic evidence of the trends, not only in Opposition v. Government but also within the shaky Ahmadinejad Administration. The news emerged, first through Mir Hossein Mousavi’s websites, then through the Iranian press, that the “40th Day” memorial would

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  • Iran Deaths: A Further Word on the Figures

    Scott Lucas, Prof.  Earlier this week I wrote, as part of our posts on the casualties and detentions in the post-election conflict in Iran, about a figure of 245 deaths put forward by the on-line journalist and activist Fintan Dunne. While I valued Mr Dunne’s efforts to pin down the story, especially in light of

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  • My (Dutch) Kingdom for Iraq

    Giles Scott-Smith Iraq 2003 is becoming ancient history within the Anglo-Saxon political world, as all the commissions have reported, the questions have been answered (as far as we know), and attention shifts big time to Afghanistan.   In contrast the Iraq war continues to cause shock waves across European politics. Revelations over the previous two

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  • Text: Mousavi Letter to Guardian Council

    Scott Lucas, Prof.   This weekend, candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, in the context both of the Guardian Council’s purported recount of 10% of the Presidential vote and its appointment of a “special committee” to conduct an enquiry into the electoral process, wrote a letter calling for an annulment of the election and a new vote.

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  • Israeli President’s Azerbaijan Trip Breaks New Ground

    Breffni O’Rourke As part of a strategy by Israel to improve relations with moderate, secular countries of the Islamic world, President Shimon Peres is visiting Azerbaijan on June 28. In the first trip by an Israeli head of state to Azerbaijan, Peres will hold talks with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and other officials. Azerbaijan is of key importance

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  • Iran: Detained Iranian Politicians and Journalists

    Scott Lucas   Tehran Bureau has posted the following list. Many of the names have also been confirmed by other sources and our correspondents. In addition, Tehran Bureau profiles journalist and filmmaker Maziar Bahari , who was working for Newsweek when he was arrested this weekend:   Politicians   Dr. Mohsen Aminzadeh: Member of the

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