Iran will pump most of the revenue it receives from the lifting of international sanctions – expected to reach some $100 billion – into its limping economy and won’t significantly boost funding for militant groups in the Middle East, according to an intelligence assessment by the Central Intelligence Agency.
The CIA analysts concluded that even if Tehran increases its support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, Houthi rebels in Yemen and the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, the additional funding is unlikely to tip the balance of power in the world’s most volatile region.
The Obama administration is banking on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and other moderates in Iran’s leadership investing most of the anticipated money into domestic infrastructure and other social investments, to quell growing public frustration over unemployment, the high inflation rate and a shortage of imported goods.
David Cameron must have actually lost his mind. In the middle of all the sanctions, he just loaned one of the Elgin Marbles to Russia, further infuriating Greece (from whom they were originally, famously stolen) after Greece loyally backed up the rest of the European Union (and NATO) on anti-Russia policies this year.
It’s one thing to petulantly insist on keeping the British Museum’s stolen artifacts from the Parthenon. It’s quite another to loan them out to an active enemy country in a taunt to one’s ally.
Surviving figures from the East Pediment of the Parthenon, exhibited as part of the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum. (Credit: Andrew Dunn)
Topics: Big Idea – Low-Income Banking Reform; 2018 and 2022 World Cups controversies revisited; Guest interview on the Ebola outbreak – Sara Laskowski, US Peace Corps, Guinea. People: Bill, Nate. Produced: August 29, 2014.
– Big Idea: How could the U.S. reform and expand consumer banking services for local income Americans to reduce predatory lending and other bad practices?
– Will sanctions on Russia and Qatar’s sponsorship of terrorism, among other problems, force the FIFA World Cup to change locations or schedules in 2018 and 2022?
– Guest Interview: UD Alum and Peace Corps member Sara Laskowski discusses being evacuated from Guinea due to the Ebola outbreak.
The goal of ISIS may be the creation of a global caliphate but so far they’re mostly just promoting global unity — against them. Al Jazeera reports that the United Nations Security Council, which has been especially fiercely divided in recent years on how to handle international security and civil conflicts in the Middle East, North Africa, and Eastern Europe, had a rare moment of unanimity today on a resolution concerning ISIS, the powerful Syrian-Iraqi rebel faction.
The United Nations Security Council has taken a tough line against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, blacklisting six people including the group’s spokesman and threatening sanctions against its financiers and weapons suppliers.
The 15-member council unanimously adopted on Friday a resolution that aims to weaken the Islamic State – an al-Qaeda splinter group that has seized swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria and declared a caliphate – and al-Qaeda’s Syrian wing Nusra Front.
Between the Syria bickering last year and the Ukraine crisis this year, this is a big step back toward cooperation on anything.
File photo of the United Nations Security Council.
At the moment, the 15-member UN Security Council consists of the five Permanent Members with veto power (US, UK, France, Russia, China) and the following non-permanent members: Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, South Korea, Rwanda, Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania, and Nigeria.
It’s actually not hard to figure out why nearly all of these governments would have no reservations about condemning ISIS and working together against it. Read more
Typically, the only countries that try to tell the United States what to do are in the company of North Korea and Venezuela.
Europe definitely doesn’t make a habit of condemning the policies of the U.S. government and certainly not the policies of specific state governments. Part of that is that it would be unlikely to accomplish much. Part of it is a recognition that they would not like the U.S., a peer nation among developed democracies, telling them what to do at home, either.
They may disagree privately or shake their heads, but it’s rare for European leaders to say anything in an official capacity or to do anything substantive about it. This may be changing a bit in light of the NSA scandals, but there’s also actually already been one fairly quiet exception: the U.S. death penalty. They’ve been very firm on the issue and are increasingly ramping up official activism to end it. Read more
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