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This week’s front page editor

Julian Richards

Julian Richards is managing editor of openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Wretched third anniversary of international intervention in Yemen: the Saudi-led coalition and humanitarian disaster. Part 2

Trump’s recent senior appointments suggest an increasingly virulent anti-Iranian strategy which certainly coincides with that of the current Saudi regime. Things could hardly be worse.

Nowruz: bringing people together at times of conflict

Comprehending the value of a festival that has weathered so many storms is not easy. That's why Nowruz is cherished. Nowruz Mubarak!

What would an Iranian secularism look like ?

Iranians are discussing many important and crucial things these days: things that the government might not be able to find an answer to in the foreseeable future.

Israel complains about violation of its sovereignty while being a serial violator

In the 4-month period from 1 July to 30 October 2017, Israel violated Lebanon’s airspace 758 times for a total of 3,188 hours.

The "Iran deal": when American and Iranian conservatives are on the same side

The domestic critics of the Iran deal and its Republican misanthropists in the United States are making a similar mistake.

It’s about time we all admit that Putin has prevailed in Syria

The end game is clear: Assad, Russia and Iran will emerge victorious.

Neoliberalism and Iran’s protest movement

The protests in Iran, like those elsewhere, are the outcome of discontent in our circumstance and the present situation in the world.

The return of ‘class and social justice’ in Iran and Tunisia

The new dimension of these social upheavals was a coalition between young educated people who think they have no future under the current system, and the least advantaged groups.

How Rouhani’s neoliberal policies provoked unrest in Iran

A closer look at Rouhani’s economic achievements, shows that his administration has had little success and disappointed many segments of Iranian society.

Iran’s mass protests beyond class boundaries

Iran’s recent protests shattered the myth of the Islamic Republic’s solid base among Iranian working class and traditionalist rural-dwellers and the simplistic narrative of middle class versus working class protesters.

Iran’s protesters are secularizing the 1979 revolution

What we see happening in Iran is the emergence of a new discourse that combines old traditions and new ideas that will strengthen a home-grown democracy.

Iran’s protests: time to reform

Without addressing head-on the drivers of the protests and pursuing popular reform, the Iranian leaders are only buying time until the next standoff between the state and the society.

Iran: the revolt of the deprived

The gap between power and society is also growing inexorably in Iran.

Will Iraq’s PM embrace a Trump-inspired Saudi-sponsored drive to curb Iranian influence?

Trump-MBS strategy has not made significant headway. Will they succeed in escalating anti-Shia confrontation against Iran and its allies?

The return of authoritarianism is priming the Middle East for more conflict

How is the Saudi-Iranian rivalry overwriting the Arab Spring’s key messages?

Critical voices in critical times: revolution without revolutionaries, an interview with Asef Bayat

Asef Bayat talks about revolutions and revolutionary ideas, the place of ordinary people in social transformation, and what we can learn from the “Tahrir moment.”

To become a bit more human: Review of Belén Fernández, “Letter from Iran”

In “Letter from Iran” Belén Fernández reminds us that we—people everywhere—are not Washington cyphers but flesh-and-blood human beings who must keep being defiant in order to retain that status.

Kurds’ choices: heed history or the US?

Who controls Syria’s borders? The US and Israel are encouraging Syrian Kurds to fight the regime and its allies for border control. The ensuing mayhem might unravel the Mideast and far beyond.

The colonial roots of Trump’s discourse on Iran

The colonial image of Persians as hypocritical and unreliable is so deeply entrenched in western imagination, that it affects policymaking on the highest levels.

All ‘hail’ the real king

The Saudi Monarch’s 4 November purge threatens the kingdom’s longstanding policy on dynastic rule, and paves the way for Salman’s abdication of power to his son Mohammed.

Western countries are more secure without nuclear arms

NATO’s current nuclear strategy is untenable. Crises during the Cold War reveal that nuclear strategies become dangerous exactly in the circumstances they are intended to deter, in political confrontations.

Contagion effect and the Saudi grand game in the Middle East

The willingness of Mohammed bin Salman to embark on a series of moves against Iranian power in the Middle East already shows evidence of severe miscalculation.

استفتاء كردستان والمعارضة السورية: لا موقف.. موقف.. وتخبّط

لم تختلف حصيلة أداء هيئات المعارضة بالعلاقة مع استفتاء الاستقلال الكردستاني من حصيلة أدائها بالعلاقة مع مسائل أخرى.

Relinquishing the ‘moral high ground’ to Iran

Any move to dismantle the nuclear deal will only relinquish the moral high ground to Iran, leaving the US as the isolated party.

Eastern Kurdistan: a silent politics with huge casualties

It is surely time that organisations that are internally active should dedicate their efforts to resuming activities that give hope to the people.

Kurdish struggles and the challenge of foreign support: the case of Syrian Kurds

What needs discussing critically is the historical and structural reasons that would leave a revolutionary movement with no option but to ask for help from virtually whoever offers it.

Kurds in Iraq: from Sykes-Picot to no-fly zones and beyond

Will the approaching referendum on independence open up a new phase for the Kurds, abrogating the Sykes-Picot Agreement?

The possible devastating outcome of a Kurdish referendum

An attempt to establish a Kurdish state including Kirkuk is likely to result in a truncated and economically devastated mini-Kurdistan.

Race to the sea: Qatar and the balance of power in the Middle East

If the Qatari crisis is not managed rationally, then it is likely to compound the present risks in the regional balance of power, with consequences for all states in the region.

Defying conventional wisdom and ‘getting real’ with Iran

The process of reviewing the new US administration’s policy on Iran has been greatly hampered by out-of-date preconceptions and wanton comments on the part of some senior officials interested in scoring points with certain domestic constituencies.

Qatar crisis: a broader consolidation of power

Despite the real tension and rivalries, there is far more that unites Qatar and surrounding countries than what separates them.

The return of Banisadr to the heart of Iranian politics

A permanent state of crisis has intersected with the Supreme leader’s actions to create conditions for the emergence of a new ‘post-reformist’ conjuncture. Could this lead to a paradigm shift in Iran?

Behind The Saudi-Qatari spat and the fragmentation of the GCC

The sanctions on Qatar aim to force the government of Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to alter its foreign policy – particularly regarding its warming relations with Iran.

Lebanon in the eye of the regional storm

Hizbollah’s proven armed capability in Syria, Israel’s perceived political defeat in 2006, coupled with a possible US and Saudi green light, may make confrontation inevitable.

Iran’s city and village council elections and women’s political participation

Iran's city and village council elections highlight Iranian women's increased involvement in the political process and decision-making.

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