Sunday Headlines

Iran Deal Presents Opportunity For Europe To Exert Its Power
While the political classes in the U.S. and Iran both harbor suspicions of each other’s intentions, European diplomats view the nuclear arms agreement as a chance to explore engagement with Iran. By doing so, they have the opportunity to “promote stability in the region and to assert Europe’s status as an independent power,” contends Ellie Geranmayeh in Foreign Affairs magazine.

There are several reasons for Europe’s willingness to engage Iran, primarily because of its proximity to the Middle East. Unlike the U.S. which has benefitted from its geographic distance from Iran, Europe is more vulnerable to conflicts on its doorstep, from refugee inflows, and to internal radicalization.

“Iran has had a role in perpetuating conflicts in the region and undercutting Western interests and security. For precisely this reason, Europeans have understood that any lasting solution to the regional crises will have to involve Tehran. Europeans also largely accept that it would be simplistic to think that the Islamic Republic has always acted against the West’s interests. It has proven useful in stabilizing Afghanistan. It has helped ensure Baghdad’s survival by leading the ground offensive against ISIS,” he continues.

Chadian Dictator’s Landmark Trial Adjourned 
Almost two weeks after the trial of Chad’s ex-dictator Hissene Habre opened in Senegal, it was suspended on Tuesday so that his court-appointed lawyers could prepare his defense. The trial of the man who may be responsible for more than  deaths is historic as it is the first time courts of one African country have prosecuted former ruler of another for alleged human rights crimes.

Human Rights Watch has an excellent background Q&A about the trial.

Two years ago, Senegal and the African Union established the Extraordinary African Chambers in Dakar two years ago to preside over Habre’s trial. That the African Union has stepped forward to hold a dictator to account is an important step in itself.

Sunday Shorts

Palestinians, Israelis clashed when Israeli police entered Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, one of Islam’s holiest sites. The Jordanian government condemned the action and warned that it might only inflame Muslims.

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which is better known as the PKK, is becoming the United States’ most well-known Marxist allies in the fight against ISIS, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The Disarray Of The Social Left is examined in an essay in World Affairs. Author Alan Johnson looks at the European left from its embrace of neoliberalism in the 1990s through its failures during the recession to the collapse of British Labor this spring and asks whether it is time for a new vision.

 

 

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