Iran and the international community have been having a lot of working lunches lately, and it all has to do with reaching a nuclear deal.
To show weakness in the face of a rising, third-world, highly authoritarian regime will only encourage it to strive to achieve its goals of regional dominance in the Middle East over many American allies.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, and their delegates have held hours upon hours of meetings over the past two days with one objective in mind: striking a nuclear agreement before June 9 that everyone around the table can live with.
Some territorial claims are easy. Often, however, history disdains simplicity. In this case, there is a complex mix of control, historical practice, international law and treaty. In the view of most observers, Beijing's claims are extravagant. Yet, they are not unprecedented.
On July 1st, the governments of the United States and Cuba announced an agreement to open diplomatic relations and embassies in Washington and Havana. This is a major watershed in the road to full normalization of relations between the two states and the two societies.
The world today is a supremely dangerous place for the United States and it's friends. And it's likely to get worse before it gets worse. But to end as I began: the United States has much to celebrate on the domestic front.
Kerry must not succumb to the negotiator's eleventh hour temptation to "cut the difference" or conceal what must be clear, simple, straightforward Iranian commitments.
The #FreedomFlotilla III sailing to challenge the Gaza blockade is providing an excellent opportunity to expose the true face of anti-democratic, pro-occupation political actors in international media.
Recent events suggest that something unusual is going on in that normally abnormal place. Proposing talks and suggesting rewards would be the best response to an uncertain situation. Someday Pyongyang will change. Engagement is the best way to prepare for that day.
Most Iranians are very hopeful that the Vienna talks will be successful. They never talk about nuclear energy or nuclear weapons. They only talk about the lifting of sanctions.
There's a decent chance the 2016 presidential election will be about national security. If that's the case, recent spin by Democratic pundits may undercut former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's campaign before it has much of a chance to establish itself.
It is a common and hyperbolic refrain that Democrats have been (and still are) the anti-religion party. Now, however, Republicans may be running into religion problems of their own as evangelical and Roman Catholics become more engaged with issues such as poverty and climate change.
The political capital invested by the Obama administration and the Rouhani government gives us good reasons to be not only "cautiously optimistic" but "optimistic" regarding the Iranian nuclear crisis.
Washington's determination to defend much of the globe has made the U.S. an international sucker, especially vulnerable to manipulation by supposed friends.
President Barack Obama has an opportunity to change the course of events in the Middle East, if he shows enough determination, boldness, and vision. This way, he could enter history as a bold leader.
Apparently incapable of resisting the temptation to meddle in the Middle East, the Obama administration remains part of Saudi Arabia's ten-member "coalition" against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Alas, the entire campaign is built on a lie.