Stories by Robert Malley

Expert Voices

Israel-Iran tensions could threaten prospects for Trump-Rouhani meeting

The Lebanese army and United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon patrolling in the Lebanese village of Aitaroun along the border with Israel.
The Lebanese army and United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon patrolling in the Lebanese village of Aitaroun along the border with Israel. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images.

In the midst of French efforts to de-escalate tensions between Tehran and Washington at the G7 summit in Biarritz, the conflict between Israel and Iran may have entered a dangerous new stage.

Why it matters: French President Emmanuel Macron is seeking to ease tensions between the U.S. and Iran and arrange a meeting between President Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the coming weeks. But an Israeli-Iranian blow up could tank the prospects for any of this.

Expert Voices

Iran's nuclear escalation raises stakes for U.S. and Europe

Behrouz Kamalvandi and Ali Rabiei seated while giving a press conference
Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi and government spokesman Ali Rabiei at a press conference in Tehran on July 7. Photo: Iranian Presidency/AFP/Getty Images

Iran's announcement that it's stepping up uranium enrichment levels to 5% follows its breach of the 2015 nuclear deal's stockpile limits and marks its latest escalatory gambit to secure economic relief from Europe, sanctions reductions from the U.S., or both.

Why it matters: For a year after the U.S. withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran stuck to the agreement, hoping its compliance would be reciprocated by other signatories' initiatives. With Europe's special trade mechanism slow to come together, Tehran is stepping up enrichment to raise the costs of European delay and American escalation. Yet each new measure increases the possibility of a U.S. or Israeli military strike against Iran.

Expert Voices

At current crossroads, future of Palestinian movement is up for grabs

Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, on stage before supporters
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, at Likud Party headquarters in Tel Aviv on election night, April 10, 2019. Photo: Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

The trajectory of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be on the verge of significant change, but this will come neither from Israel's recently concluded elections nor the potential unveiling of the Trump administration's peace plan in coming months.

The big picture: More important than what either the Israeli or U.S. governments will do is what will happen to the party about which one hears the least, the Palestinians. Their national movement has been missing in action on all matters concerning the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations. At some point, inevitably, that will change.