20 April 2015   Leave a comment

The US is beefing up its naval forces near Yemen.  The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and its escort, the USS Normandy, arrived to join seven other vessels in the region.  ABC News is reporting that an Iranian convoy of eight vessels to the Arabian Sea and the US forces may be used to interdict weapons for Iran destined for the Houthi rebels in Yemen.  The UN Security Council voted (14-0-1, Russia abstained on the resolution) to impose an arms embargo on Yemen, so the US could intercept those Iranian vessels and argue that it was enforcing an UN resolution.  Needless to say, any such move on the part of the US would be considered an act of war by Iran, the UN resolution notwithstanding.  The tensions continue to escalate.

USS Theodore Roosevelt

Peter Beinart has a great essay in The Atlantic in which he argues that the Iranian nuclear deal could actually bring a higher degree of democracy to Iran.  The argument is actually quite simple: that the hard line approach that the US had utilized against Iran for many years has given the current Iranian regime the legitimacy necessary to override the desire of the Iranian people for a greater voice in their political affairs.  We do know that there is a strong reform movement in Iran (it was called the “green” revolution in the election of 2009), but we do not know how strong it is at this time.  The undertone to Beinart’s essay is that a softer line may yield better results than a “hard” line on the issue of democracy.

Chinese President Xi is visiting Pakistan where he is expected to announce a major investment in Pakistan’s transportation infrastructure.   The ambitious plan is to build a network of rail and truck lines from CHina’s Xinjiang Province to the port of Gwadar in Pakistan where Chinese goods can be shipped through the Indian Ocean to other areas of the world.   The plan is part of the transportation network Xi envisions to construct a new “silk road” to facilitate Chinese trade.

 

 

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Posted April 20, 2015 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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