Since Russian President Vladamir Putin began his military air campaign in Syria last week, Western media has been clamoring to explain his motivation. Most of the analysis so far has been incomplete or half-baked at best.
On September 8, 2015, Shimon Perez, Israel's former president, prime minister and Noble Peace Prize winner delivered an address to leaders from within Israel, and dignitaries and guests from around the world attending the official opening of Jerusalem's newest museum, the Friends of Zion Heritage Center.
No one should have been surprised that Russia committed their military to the task of saving their ally in Syria from defeat. And no one should now be surprised if Saudi Arabia steps up its support for the Syrian opposition; or if the opposition attacks Russian forces in Syria.
As Khamenei stated, Iran had adopted a policy of self-restraint toward the Saudis prior to the Mina incident. Iran's sudden policy shift has raised the questions of why Iran has abandoned their passive position, and what the goal of their new hawkish stance is.
By far the greatest threat to international security is the ideological terrorism of Daesh and its ilk, backed by extremist clerics who continue to order the masses to "give all moral, material, political and military" support to what they consider "holy war" in Syria.
Washington, for all of its assurances that it has blocked every path to a nuclear Iran, has done little to block the pathway to a devastating regional conflict.
The argument that sanctions explain the nuclear deal completely disregards that it was the peaceful pro-democracy movement of the Iranian people and their vote during the 2013 presidential elections that created the main opening that led to the breakthrough in the nuclear negotiations.
I'm confident Mr. Ahmadinejad knew that the sanctions were wrecking Iran's economy and the burden was simply borne by the average citizens; however, he didn't want to lose the battle of reputation he had started.
President Bush is most responsible for the ISIS deluge. The Obama administration has played a malign, but secondary, role. Like its predecessor, it also intervened too much rather than too little. For instance, President Obama continued to back Iraq's Maliki government despite the latter's sectarian excesses.
The challenge of Putin as well as ISIS requires an answer beyond avoidance and containment. The threat is immediate but also the challenge to the rule of law and the ideology upon which free and democratic states have prospered as societies and economies over the last few decades.
For U.S. policymakers who seek to advance more sensible U.S. policies in the region, understanding Iran's positions is critical. Relying on delusions about Iranian policies and aims, as well as about American ones, is not only ineffective, but wholly counterproductive.
Since the U.S does not have clear and detailed policy towards the conflicts in the Middle East, and since the U.S policy is currently anchored in the wait-and-see foreign policy, Washington is more willing to delegate the task of fighting the Islamic State or resolving the crisis in Syria and Yemen, to Tehran and Moscow or other nations.
A solid majority of Jewish Americans now vote consistently for Democrats, and many are increasingly secular. Conservative Christians, on the other hand, are the bedrock of the GOP base of support. To appeal to them, the contenders for the Republican presidential nomination try to outdo each other in asserting support for Israel and now would essentially outsource American policy in the region to Mr. Netanyahu.
We may look back on this week as one of the true nadirs in America's post-9/11 efforts to lead the world, a series of events that make the failures of America's shallow strategies, of both Republican and Democratic administrations. It is a particular low point for President Obama.
Two years ago, then-CNN reporter Peter Hamby lamented the negative effect he believed Twitter and other social media were having on presidential campaign coverage.
The Vienna nuclear agreement between Iran and the West was a major milestone for the geostrategic future of the Middle East, but it was also a breath of fresh air for Iranian civil society. There is now the possibility of Iranian civil society playing a different and more constructive role in the future of Iranian politics.