Stories written by Barbara Slavin
Barbara Slavin is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's South Asia Center and Washington correspondent for Al-Monitor.com, 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.
Iraqi President Fouad Massoum said this past week that the government was looking for an independent Sunni Muslim to fill the post of defense minister in an effort to improve chances of reunifying the country and defeating the group that calls itself the Islamic State (IS).
A new poll following the election of President Hassan Rouhani says that a majority of Iranians oppose Iran’s intervention in Syria and Iraq and believe that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons despite their government’s claims to the contrary.
A lack of Israeli pressure for the U.S. to intervene and Israel’s ability to go after sensitive targets in Syria on its own are factors in the Barack Obama administration’s reluctance to get more deeply involved in the Syrian civil war.
European countries are imposing unprecedented sanctions against Iran in part in hopes of preventing an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear installations that could further destabilise the Middle East and wreak havoc on the global economy.
A former senior adviser on the Middle East to the last four U.S. presidents says that "the negatives far outweigh the positives" of war with Iran and the United States should augment Israel's nuclear weapons delivery systems to dissuade it from attacking the Islamic Republic.
The recent escalation in Iranian threats to blockade oil shipments and attack U.S. Navy vessels are meant to push up the price of oil and divert domestic opinion from an economic crisis but are not likely to lead to a war in the Persian Gulf, in the view of Iran experts.
Veteran observers of U.S.-Iran relations know better than to be optimistic about the chances for reconciliation between the two countries. It has long been the pattern - indeed the curse - that when one side was ready to engage, the other was not.
The Barack Obama administration and the United Nations are struggling to convince the leadership of the Mujaheddin-e Khalq (MEK), an Iranian opposition group with cult-like characteristics, to vacate a camp in Iraq and allow residents to move to another location in the country or risk the lives of as many as 3,200 people.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, said Friday that he believes that sanctions and diplomacy are the right strategy to deal with Iran's nuclear programme and that the United States "is doing everything we can to accomplish the stated objective without resorting to military force".
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.
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.
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.
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.