What happens in Syria will have a huge impact on the rest of the region, and if the Assad government were to fall, it would be a big strategic blow to Iran.
Beijing and Moscow’s opposition to Western initiatives may seem like solidarity between two authoritarian governments or a coordinated effort to dilute Western domination of global politics, but the reality is far broader.
The current uprisings taking place across the Middle East and North Africa are interconnected; the success or failure of one country’s democratic transition could have a direct impact on the prospects for transition in another.
The safeguards system established by the International Atomic Energy Agency is failing to detect potential issues of noncompliance because it doesn’t have the legal authority needed to fulfill its mandate and it lacks the necessary cooperation from member states.
New allegations that Syria might have been clandestinely enriching uranium underline the challenges in preventing the spread of uranium enrichment capabilities and the need to do more to stop nuclear technology and know-how from falling into the wrong hands.
In countries like Syria and Libya, where the situation is still fluid and tumultuous, Tunisia provides a great example of how a transitional election should unfold.
If successful, the Tunisian elections could provide a model for other countries in the region that are experiencing political transitions.
Leaders have fallen in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya amid the Arab Awakening, and calls for revolution continue across the region. But how much real change can actually be expected?
This month's deliberations by the International Atomic Energy Agency's Board of Governors and General Conference will underscore the weakness of the IAEA's leadership in comparison to its member states.
Iran’s influence in the Middle East is threatened by domestic divisions between Ayatollah Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad as well as the continuing upheaval in Syria, which could undermine Tehran’s principal ally in the region.