Amir Taheri
Amir Taheri was the executive editor-in-chief of the daily Kayhan in Iran from 1972 to 1979. He has worked at or written for innumerable publications, published eleven books, and has been a columnist for Asharq Al-Awsat since 1987

Ukraine: Putin’s Mixed Messages

Two years already! And how much longer? This is what comes to mind as the war in Ukraine enters its third year with no prospect of an end in sight. Because war is a matter of here-and-now one shouldn’t expect those who fight it to think of its aftermath. Belligerents who do so often end up…

Western Farmers: Fork in the Road

In the past few weeks European farmers have taken to the streets of their capitals to advertise a rebellious mood that few expected to see. Having enjoyed a comfortable life for decades, thanks to subsidies from their respective governments and the European Union’s Common agricultural Policy …

The Middle East: Un-ask Your Question

As the Gaza war seethes through its fourth month policymakers and think-tankers in the West form a chorus demanding what shall we do about the Middle East? The best short answer may be "mu" Japanese word that means "unask your question". The word is used when the question is defective and…

Iran: Risky Elections Ahead

In Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in the Wonderland” a visual perversion deforms people and objects so that they look like what they are meant to be but are not quite the same. The fantasy device used by the English poet in his comic tale has given its name to a neurological condition known as the…

Iran-Pakistan: The Beautiful Vase Has Been Chipped

If you had asked me just a couple of weeks ago I might have assured you that Pakistan is the last county with which the Islamic Republic in Tehran would pick a fight. I might have cited many reasons for that opinion. First, A recent demise of the classical reasons for antagonism between…

Iran: Talk Big but Wave a Small Stick

Torture at ringside! This is how Antoine Blondin, perhaps the greatest contemporary French sports writer, described the agonies of hard-core fans of combat sports. They are glued to the ringside, watch the fight, see or imagine that they see the mistakes of the adversaries in the ring, wish they…

One War and Two Visions

If you thought you knew all you need to know about the war in Gaza, think again. Much depends on where and how you get your news from. Last week I decided to do a little, obviously non-scientific, experiment by following the Gaza news through two channels: the old BBC, one of Great Britain’s most…

Gaza War: It isn’t Over Until it is Over

As the war in Gaza enters its third month the short-attention span syndrome that characterizes our age swings in full gear to reduce it to a version of background noise. You might have noticed that the war is bowing out of front pages and dropped down several slots in TV news bulletins. Even…

2024: Where Does the Pendulum Swing?  

If there is a pendulum that regulates world affairs it is important to know which way it may be swinging in the year that is about to start. Seen from one angle, the pendulum looks like swinging towards uncertainty. In 2024, many countries with major roles in international affairs are facing…

This Was Mine: Disputes as Old as History

Trying to grab a piece of someone else’s land has always been a favorite trick by rulers in domestic difficulty to divert attention from their own incompetence or worse. It is, therefore, no surprise that as international order begins to break down for lack of an authority to enforce it and…