14 July 2017   Leave a comment

Iraq is close to pushing Daesh (Islamic State) forces out of Mosul and that event would constitute a significant victory for the government.  But regaining control over the city is going to be very difficult as there are a number of groups who were involved in the fighting who believe that they are entitled to some of the spoils of war.  In many respects, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces involved in the fighting represent the sectarian nature of the government in Baghdad.  But if those Shia groups use the success to further exclude the Sunni populations, the victory will be short-lived.  The Shia government in Baghdad and Iran need to work hard to make the Sunni Muslims believe that they have a stake in the future of a united Iraq.

Today is the 2nd anniversary of the nuclear deal signed with Iran.  The agreement, brokered by Germany, the US, France, Great Britain, China, and Russia, was designed to provide assurances that, at least for ten years, Iran would not be able to build a nuclear weapon.  It is a very complicated agreement with a number of very specific and technical details, but it also an agreement that narrowly focuses on weapons.  Many in the US, including now-President Trump, were very opposed to the agreement because it did not address Iran’s support for groups, such as Hezbollah, which are opposed to Israel and also because it did not address other aspects of the weapons program, such as building missiles.  To date, the Trump Administration has not tried to revise the agreement, a process that would be extremely difficult because the other signatories to the agreement would be very unlikely to support the US.  All evidence indicates that the agreement has worked as expected and we should hope that it continues to be supported.

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Posted July 14, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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