• Rapid Nuclear Proliferation Simply Doesn’t Happen

    • February 18, 2013

    Published in the Globe and Mail, February 18, 2013 Among the many reasons why Iran should not acquire nuclear weapons (a sentiment with which any reasonable person must agree), one hears the argument that it would initiate a cascade of proliferation across the Middle East. First Saudi Arabia, then Turkey, then Egypt, then God knows

  • Next Year in Jerusalem (And Elsewhere in the Middle East)

    • January 1, 2013

    Published in the Globe and Mail, December 28, 2012 A year ago, after noting that making predictions about the Middle East is a foolish endeavour, I made a series of predictions about what might happen there in 2012. To my amazement, most of them held up reasonably well. For those interested in grading them, my

  • Egypt Can Lead Hamas to the New Middle East

    • November 19, 2012

    Published in the Globe and Mail, November 19, 2012 Slowly, painfully, fitfully, the new Middle East is emerging. Egypt is key to this, both in terms of its internal evolution and its response to regional events, such as the fighting in Gaza. Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi has many balls to juggle. His political base is

  • Towards an International Agreement on Syria?

    • June 29, 2012

    Following a long conversation between Presidents Obama and Putin at the recent G20 Summit in Mexico, U.S. officials claimed that progress had been made in identifying areas where U.S. and Russian interests coincide. “We agreed that we need to see a cessation of violence, that a political process has to be created to prevent civil

  • Égypte, autopsie d’une élection

    • June 19, 2012

    Les derniers 18 mois de l’histoire d’Égypte prouvent combien Churchill avait raison quand il soutenait que la démocratie était le pire des systèmes jusqu’à ce que l’on en trouve un meilleur. L’Égypte prouve également que la tenue d’élections n’est qu’un instrument de l’expression démocratique et n’en est nullement le fondement. On est passé de l’Égypte

  • Is an Israeli Attack Inevitable?

    • February 26, 2012

    Published in the Ottawa Citizen, February 26, 2012 To listen to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and his “best friends” Stephen Harper and John Baird, one would think that the Israeli government has made up its mind about attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities, and Canada has made up its mind to support it. After all, if

  • Obama’s Diplomacy with Iran and the 2009 Election Scandal

    • February 25, 2012

    CIPS Policy Brief No. 14 (February 2012). By TRITA PARSI. Barack Obama’s presidency began with a diplomatic outreach to Iran. However, the space for diplomacy turned out to be limited, due in part to the effects of Iran’s fraudulent 2009 elections and related domestic pressures on Obama not to pursue negotiations. The Obama administration consequently

    By CIPS
  • The Cockeyed Case for Preemptive War on Iran

    • February 24, 2012

    I was invited to talk about fragile states at the annual meeting of the Conference of Defence Associations in Ottawa on Thursday. As it turned out, however, I spent most of my time speaking about Iran. I couldn’t help myself. I arrived at the conference an hour before my panel was to begin and settled into a chair with a cup of coffee to watch

  • Something Borrowed, Nothing Gained: John Baird’s Big Ideas in Foreign Policy

    • February 3, 2012

    “Canada is what I like to call a ‘smart power’,” Foreign Minister John Baird declared in a major speech in Israel last week. That’s reassuring, although as a means of distinguishing our foreign policy it is likely to prove elusive. What country would proudly proclaim the opposite? Every state hopes to exercise power in smart

  • Event Report: The Arab Spring, One Year Later

    • January 24, 2012

    On January 18, a CIPS discussion panel brought together Omar Ashour (Exeter University and Brookings Doha Centre), Barak Barfi (New America Foundation) and Peter Jones (University of Ottawa) to take stock of events in countries affected by the ‘Arab Spring’ of 2011. Having been asked by moderator Roland Paris to prepare remarks on Egypt, Libya

  • The Rhetoric and Reality of Attacking Tehran

    • November 11, 2011

    Published on November 11, 2011 in the Globe and Mail. The latest United Nations report on Iran’s nuclear program has further raised tensions. While the report was notable for its candour, it carefully avoided making definitive statements on two critical issues: whether Iran has actually decided to build a bomb, or is merely content with

  • Run Towards War with Iran

    • October 30, 2011

    In the wake of the alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington, the predictable chorus of right-wingers has come forward to promote one of their favourite causes: the idea of an attack on Iran. Not surprisingly, the idea of an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities features highly in all of this. Many of those who