The big picture

China-Iran deal envisions massive investments from Beijing

Will China rely place a $400 billion bet?

Jul 13, 2020 - World
Iran's proxies in the Middle East

Iran could likely use one of its many proxies to strike American military assets.

Jan 18, 2020 - World
Where U.S. troops and military assets are deployed in the Middle East

Between 60,000 and 70,000 U.S. troops are in the Middle East.

Updated Jan 8, 2020 - World
How Iran's disinformation threat differs from Russia

"This style is extremely different than Russia."

Jan 7, 2020 - Technology
Iran's supreme leader vows revenge for assassination of nuclear scientist

Khamenei tweeted Saturday, calling on "relevant administrators" to prosecute the "brutal mercenaries."

Nov 28, 2020 - World
Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad.

Nov 27, 2020 - World

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Nov 22, 2020 - World

Netanyahu says Biden must not go back to Iran deal

Photo: Abir Sultan/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that President-elect Biden's administration “must not go back to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran."

Why it matters: The comments — at the annual memorial ceremony for David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister — signal that Netanyahu is planning to repeat the public campaign against an Iran deal that he engaged in during the Obama administration.

Nov 21, 2020 - World

Iran closes businesses, limits travel amid coronavirus surge

A view of closed stores in Tehran Grand Bazaar after Iran imposed tougher restrictions nationwide to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Photo: Bahrami/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Iran on Saturday imposed tougher restrictions to slow the accelerated spread of COVID-19 in the country, closing businesses and limiting travel between its major cities, but stopping short of a complete shutdown.

By the numbers: The nation, which has topped 840,000 confirmed cases, also recorded a daily death toll above 430 for the past five consecutive days, hitting 479 deaths on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Nov 20, 2020 - World

Trump's last-minute foreign policy whirlwind

Trump visits Afghanistan in 2019. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration is working quickly to shift U.S. policies and, where possible, bind the incoming Biden administration to them.

Why it matters: All of these steps are being taken without any coordination with Biden's team, which still lacks access to the intelligence and resources typically made available during a transition. In many cases, the Trump administration is trying to proactively thwart Biden's agenda.

Nov 18, 2020 - World

Exclusive: Biden must consult Gulf states before new Iran deal, Bahrain foreign minister says

Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani of Bahrain told me in an exclusive interview that he expects the Biden administration to consult Bahrain and other Gulf countries before moving toward a new nuclear deal with Iran.

Why it matters: The comments, made during Zayani's historic visit to Jerusalem today, reflect the concerns of other Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE about Biden's desire to revive the existing nuclear deal and potentially negotiate a new one.

Nov 18, 2020 - World

Israel's plan to influence Biden on Iran

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Israel is drafting a strategy for engaging with the incoming Biden administration on Iran, two Israeli officials tell me.

What they're saying: “We don’t want to be left out again," Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi told the Knesset foreign relations committee in a classified hearing last week. He said Israel had to avoid the mistakes that left it isolated as the Obama administration negotiated the 2015 Iran deal.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Nov 12, 2020 - World

Nuclear challenges from Russia, Iran and North Korea now fall to Biden

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden will face three urgent nuclear challenges upon entering the White House.

Why it matters: Arms control with Russia is crumbling, Iran’s uranium stockpiles are growing, and North Korea is as vexing and threatening as ever.

The election security nightmare that wasn't

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As the dust settles on the 2020 presidential election, it's becoming clear that the process proved sturdy, with no known attacks on voting infrastructure and no 2016-style vast foreign meddling campaigns to disrupt American democracy.

Yes, but: The ongoing disinformation campaign from President Trump and his allies, as they refuse to accept his loss, illustrates that the country does not need outside intrusions to undermine the integrity of our elections.

Nov 8, 2020 - World

Trump administration plans "flood" of sanctions on Iran by Jan. 20

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Patrick Semansky/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration, in coordination with Israel and several Gulf states, is pushing a plan to slap a long string of new sanctions on Iran in the 10 weeks left until Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, two Israeli sources briefed on the effort told me.

Driving the news: The Trump administration’s envoy for Iran Elliott Abrams arrived in Israel on Sunday and met Prime Minister Netanyahu and National Security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat to discuss the sanctions plan.

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