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.: 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.

Iran’s Image Plummets in Arab World, Poll Finds

Iranian leaders have tried to portray democracy movements in the Arab world as inspired by their 1979 Islamic revolution and predicted that Iran's regional support would grow as pro- Western dictators fell.

India-Pakistan Rivalry Afghanistan’s “Gordian Knot”

U.S. hopes to withdraw forces and leave behind a stable Afghanistan may rest on whether Pakistan and India can lower bilateral tensions and refrain from using Afghan territory for a new proxy war.

Bitter Divides Persist Below Bahrain’s Relatively Calm Surface

When Bahraini ambassador Houda Ezra Nonoo arrived in Washington three years ago, she was greeted as the representative of a close U.S. ally with a reputation for more openness and tolerance than most Gulf nations.

US-IRAN: Tensions Mount Over Iraq, Nuke Sanctions

Reviving U.S.-Iran friction over Iraq may have more to do with deteriorating relations over Iran's nuclear programme than with uncertainty over U.S. troop levels in Iraq beyond the end of this year.

TURKEY-ISRAEL: Diplomatic Wounds Leave Half-Healed Scars

Turkey and Israel are close to resolving their dispute over last year's flotilla fiasco, but the partnership that existed between them for more than a decade will almost certainly stay submerged.

Turkey Recalibrating Regional Role

As thousands of Syrian refugees pour over the Turkish border, the just re- elected government in Ankara is confronting the limits of its "no problems" policy toward its neighbours.

U.S.: Military Attack on Iran Recedes, but Tensions Remain High

The likelihood of a U.S. or Israeli military attack on Iran's nuclear installations seems miniscule during the remaining months of the Barack Obama administration's first term.

Paradoxes of Iranian Society Spur on Heroic Women

Haleh Sahabi is the latest Iranian woman to die in political violence.

A Bad Week for Iranian Diplomacy

As U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled a new economic support plan for fledgling democracies in the Middle East and set down principles for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, Tehran called back two ships carrying demonstrators who had intended to show solidarity with beleaguered Shiites in Bahrain.

Sunni Monarchies Close Ranks

Reports that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is considering some form of membership for two non-Gulf states – Jordan and Morocco – confirm that the conservative Sunni monarchies of the Middle East are closing ranks against Iran, Shiite-led Iraq and the democratic wave sweeping the region.

A Fork in the Road of U.S.-Pakistani Ties

The U.S. discovery and killing of Osama bin Laden in a compound some 50 kilometres from Islamabad is a "defining moment" for a U.S.-Pakistan relationship fraught with duplicity and dashed expectations.

Friends or Foes, Syria’s Neighbours Wary of Assad’s Ouster

As Syria accelerates a violent crackdown on opposition demonstrators, the country's rising instability and uncertain future are already reverberating beyond its borders in Iran, Israel, Lebanon and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf.

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