Stories written by Barbara Slavin
Barbara Slavin is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's South Asia Center and Washington correspondent for, a new website devoted to news from and about the Middle East. The author of a 2007 book, Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the US and the Twisted Path to Confrontation, she is a regular commentator on U.S. foreign policy and Iran on NPR, PBS and C-SPAN.A career journalist, Slavin previously served as assistant managing editor for world and national security of The Washington Times, senior diplomatic reporter for USA TODAY, Cairo correspondent for The Economist and as an editor at The New York Times Week in Review.She has covered such key foreign policy issues as the US-led war on terrorism and in Iraq, policy toward "rogue" states, the Iran-Iraq war, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. She has traveled to Iran eight times and was the first US newspaper reporter to interview Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Slavin also served as a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, where she wrote Bitter Friends, and as a senior fellow at the US Institute of Peace, where she researched and wrote the report Mullahs, Money and Militias: How Iran Exerts Its Influence in the Middle East. | Web

U.S. Ratchets Up Economic Pressure on Iran

Under intense pressure from the U.S. Congress and U.S. presidential election politics, the Barack Obama administration Monday declared the Islamic Republic of Iran a "primary money laundering concern" - a designation that stops short of blacklisting Iran's Central Bank but is intended to persuade more foreign governments, banks and companies to curtail business with Iranian financial entities.

SYRIA: Beginning of the End for Assad?

Actions by the Arab League this week have given a regional seal of approval to Syrian opposition forces and could mark the beginning of the end of the Assad family dictatorship that has ruled Syria for more than 40 years.

IRAN: Nuclear Watchdog Details Pre-2003 Weapons Research

A new report on Iran's nuclear programme provides substantial evidence that Iran carried out extensive research into how to make a nuclear weapon prior to 2003 but is shaky about how much work has continued.

A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier in Shah Wali Kot District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. Credit:  Staff Sgt. Jeremy D. Crisp/U.S. Army/CC by 2.0

As U.S. Exits Iraq, “Endgame” in Afghanistan Remains Elusive

Washington's failure to gain Iraqi approval for a significant U.S. military presence in that country beyond December could make it harder for Afghanistan to agree to a similar deployment beyond 2014.

U.S.-NORTH KOREA: Persistence Pays Off with “Rogue” Regimes

The United States and North Korea are resuming the joint search for U.S. soldiers still missing from the Korean War, one of the few positive areas of interaction between two countries estranged for more than 60 years.

As 2012 Polls Loom, Caution’s the Word for Obama Foreign Policy

U.S. presidents seeking a second term are not known for taking risks in foreign policy in election years.

U.S.: Alleged Iranian Assassination Plot Suspicious, Experts Say

U.S. Justice Department charges that elements of Iran's government were behind a foiled plot on the life of Saudi Arabia's U.S. ambassador have boggled the minds of many Americans knowledgeable about both Iran and terrorism.

Pressure Builds on Iran at Nuclear Watchdog Agency

As Iran continues a slow march toward potential nuclear weapons capability, diplomatic action to contain the programme is likely to shift to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), whose director general, Yukiya Amano, has taken a harder line than his predecessor about alleged military research by Iran's nuclear scientists.

Iranians in Iraqi Camp to Seek Refugee Status

In a development that could help resolve an eight-year-old diplomatic and humanitarian standoff, the Mujaheddin-e Khalq (MEK), an Iranian opposition group that has several thousand adherents at a military camp in Iraq, has agreed to allow residents to apply for refugee status and be interviewed individually by U.N. officials.

Iranian President Offers Nukes Compromise to U.S.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday that Iran would be willing to halt production of enriched uranium that is close to weapons grade if the United States sells Iran fuel for a reactor that produces medical isotopes.

U.S. in a Bind Over Palestine’s Bid for U.N. Recognition

The Palestinian drive for statehood status at the United Nations injects new uncertainty into an already volatile Middle East, threatening to further isolate Israel and diminish already dwindling U.S. influence in the region.

Post-9/11 Rebuffs Set U.S.-Iran Relations on Downward Spiral

Of all the mistakes and missed opportunities that have characterised U.S. foreign policy since Sep. 11, 2001, few may have been as consequential as the failure to improve relations with Iran.

Afghan Security Faces Long-Term Challenges

U.S.-led efforts to build Afghan security forces capable of preventing Taliban resurgence face a series of challenges, from the reluctance of southern Pashtuns to serve in a national army, to maintaining the billions of dollars in infrastructure and equipment provided by the U.S. and other foreign countries over the past decade.

U.S.: New Iran Sanctions Could Bring Unintended Blowback

A new Congressional push to sanction Iran's Central Bank is aimed at reducing Iranian oil revenues, but could backfire and hurt the global economy.

U.S. Silent on Iranian Raids Against Kurdish Terror Group

Iran and the United States don't agree on much these days, but there are a few views they hold in common.

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