Iran is Exhibit #1 for the threat posed by Islamic fundamentalists gaining control of government. Iranian repression is increasing and the space available to regime opponents is diminishing.
Persecution of the Gonabadi-Nimatullahi Sufis has been relentless. The motive for the Iranian government assault on them is simple: They are blunt critics of the theocracy.
Iran must know that until it rejects the false seductions of nuclear security, for us, all options but one must remain on the table. But Iranians should also be assured that we do not expect them to endure a nuclear double standard forever until the end of time.
Since the Egyptian revolution, Sunni animosity in Egypt toward Shia Muslims has increased and gone public in a country where, in the past, doctrinal differences between the two Islamic sects were barely mentioned.
Innocent people are deprived of access to vital medicine as a result of the medical supply shortage, with some even paying the ultimate price -- even though they are neither responsible for or have influence over Tehran's nuclear policies.
President Hugo Chavez's death, while not unexpected, brings an uncertain future to a country that he ruled with an iron fist. It also may present a great opportunity for American diplomacy in Venezuela and Latin America.
The White House will have to make up its mind whether it's war or peace -- attack nuclear sites or engage Iran on terms of respect for Tehran's legitimacy and Iran's own perceived security interests. And perhaps do so sooner than it likes.
Can the people of the Earth ever, and finally, get along? What could cause them to do so, at last? These questions linger today following news that we apparently can't even talk to each other. At least, in some instances. In one case, the United States and Iran.
On the first state visit of an Iranian leader to the nation of Egypt since 1979, during a visit that alarmed many, a shoe has been thrown.
Egypt needs the US, not Iran, and it is well known in DC. Hopefully Obama's visit will be successful to the point when Morsi will be satisfied enough to get American assurances regarding his financial survivability, in return to assurances, on his part, regarding preserving the peace treaty with Israel.
Obama's return to the discourse of nuclear disarmament earned him a Nobel Peace Prize. Earlier that year the recently elected Presiden went to Prague and sounded a clarion call for a ban on all nuclear testing. Four years has passed and the Prague promise seems to have been forgotten.
Here is something we know about the coming year: It is going to be crucial for the future of Iran, the region and American interests in the Middle East. In assessing what the Iranian regime's behavior will be in the near future, the best guide is how it has behaved in the past.
Obama should go back to the 2003 proposal and combine it with the 2002 Saudi proposal to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Not because Iran, an official enemy, or Saudi Arabia, a very problematic friend, are led by nice leaders but because the ideas to move forward toward peace and security for all already exist.
Iran's abysmal human rights situation should draw attention on its own merits, and trigger concerted international efforts to hold human rights abusers accountable and ensure that Iranian authorities respect their obligations under international law.
Iranian human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh sits starving in a prison cell in Tehran. Twenty-five years ago that was me. The prison was Leningrad, but the story was the same: a mother of young children punished by a dictatorial regime, yearning for the basic freedoms Americans sometimes take for granted.
In his book The War of All the People , academic and Latin America-expert Jon Perdue carefully presents the case for why the United States should be worried about terrorism south of the border.