HJS This Week on Turkey, Iran, Russia and the Middle East

By HJS

While domestic news outlets focus on the horrific bombing in Turkey, Iran is also on our agenda as we head towards ‘Adoption Day’ this weekend when the nuclear deal is enacted – we’ll be releasing new research into the impact an emboldened Iran will have in neighbouring Iraq and the fight against Islamic State.

But we haven’t forgotten about Russia’s role in Syria – more on that later. But first here’s what else Henry Jackson Society experts are speaking about this week:

Tom Wilson, Resident Associate Fellow at the Centre for the New Middle East

With tensions simmering in Israel for several weeks now our Middle East expert Tom Wilson is following developments and warning that inaction by politicians on both sides to call for calm and stop attacks could lead to more and prolonged violence.

Emily Dyer, Research Fellow

Emily Dyer has been following the debate created by the new Suffragettes movie on women’s equality and cuts to domestic violence services; but her focus is also on the treatment of people in North Korea. Emily is writing about the ‘media whitewash’ of coverage of the dictator-state as it commemorates 70th anniversary of the Worker’s Party.

Dr Alan Mendoza, Executive Director on Russian strategy in the Middle East

As the Russians took the extraordinary action of summoning the British military attaché in Moscow, our Executive Director Dr Alan Mendoza says it tells us much about the weakness of Russia’s position: “Russia is evidently concerned by the prospect of conflict with NATO powers. We should use this knowledge to our strategic advantage by declaring safe havens policed by NATO airpower that will protect civilians from both Islamic State and President Assad, in the knowledge that Russia will abide by them to avoid accidental hostilities. In doing so, we will counter Russia’s malign influence in propping up Assad by showing that a safe and secure Syria is one where all forms of barbarity are rejected and human rights respected.”

Dr Andrew Foxall, Director, Russia Studies Centre

Russia and UK defence dominates our discussions this week, after the successful launch of the report Close Encounters: Russian Military Incursions into UK Air and Sea Space Since 2005. Dr Andrew Foxall will be following Sergei Lavrov’s address to the Russian parliament as the Foreign Minister is likely to speak up Russia’s role in the Syria conflict and Moscow’s renewed international role.

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