Political Journal

Sciutto, J. & Carter, C. (24[th] Nov 2013). Obama: Iran nuclear deal limits ability to create
nuclear weapons. Retrieved online on 29[th] Nov 2013 from
On the 24[th] of November this year, Iran and six world powers led by the US struck a deal that would slow down Iran`s nuclear development program in exchange of relaxed sanctions. The deal will specifically see the Iran halt the development of its nuclear reactors at Arak. Furthermore, the current stock of uranium enriched up to 20%, which is near the weapon grade will be diluted to prevent it from being weaponized. The agreement is geared towards limiting Iran`s access to nuclear weapons which poses threat to global peace. Through the deal, Iran agreed to be more transparent in its program and allow intrusive monitoring. However, Israel as a key enemy of Iran termed the agreement as unsatisfactory and alleged that the deal is likely to be violated.
President Obama assured Israel and other countries that have expressed concerns over the deal that Iran will be pressured to actualize the deal failure to which sanctions will be reinstated. The US has further reiterated that the Iranian government will not be overly trusted but will rather be strictly supervised to assess whether it meets the requirements of the deal. The Iranian government has welcomed the deal and notes that it will help “to avert an unnecessary crisis.”
The deal was a culmination of secret talks between the US and Iranian officials which commenced prior to the election of the new Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani. The new president is more open minded to the western views of the nuclear program as opposed to the hard line stance taken by the predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The former president was also famous for his jabs aimed at the US and his threats towards Israel.
The article captures the position of the US as the world super power. It also captures the desire by other countries in the world to dilute the US global power through nuclear weapons. The article is important in the sense that Iran`s possession of nuclear weapons poses a direct threat to its traditional enemy and American ally, Israel and other western nations. Nuclear energy is once against the new frontier that could determine the global power balance in the near future.
Joshi, S. (25[th] Nov 2013). Iran nuclear deal triggers anxiety for Israel and Gulf. Retrieved
online on 29[th] Nov 2013 from,
The deal between Iran and P5+1, has elicited different reactions from Israel, Saudi Arabia and the other Arab monarchies. Iran has been hostile towards these countries for various reasons. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu termed the deal as a “historic mistake” that made the world a “much scarier place.” One Saudi foreign policy adviser warned that the US was “giving Iran more space or a freer hand in the region.”
Majority of the countries in the region especially Saudi Arabia and Israel are worried about close ties between the US and Iran which would lock them out. The fears are informed by the fact that the US held secret negotiations with Iran about the nuclear program without the knowledge of the two countries. Furthermore, the US abandoned a planned missile strike against Syria which was supported by Israel and Saudi Arabia but opposed by Iran.
Other countries in the region welcomed the deal. The United Arab Emirates released a statement that appraised the deal as one that would lead to stability in the region. Bahrain also noted that the deal would remove any sense of fear or threat from Iran or any other states globally.
The article captures the nature of global power balance. The US, as the super power is caught up between dealing with enemies by attempting to convert them into allies without upsetting traditional allies. In this case, the US is trying to win over Iran, a former ally turned foe without upsetting allies such as Saudi Arabia and Israel. The history of US and Iran goes far ago when the US funded the country`s initial power program in the 1950`s.
Fisher, M. (5[th] Sep 2013). The four reasons Russia won`t give up Syria, no matter what
Obama does. Retrieved online on 29[th] Nov 2013 from
In the recent Group of 20 economic summit held in Russia, President Obama was slated to have a one-on-one meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin. However, the one-on-one meeting was canceled after Russia accommodated a NSA leaker Edward Snowden. The summit was to discuss the Syrian war among other things.
Russia has consistently opposed any UN backed military intervention in Syria. The US has been in support of the rebels while the Russian government has openly supported President Assad of Syria. The Obama administration is particularly incensed by alleged reports of chemical weapons sued against the people of Syria. Such acts by a government are clearly prohibited by the international law.
Russia supports the Syria for four reasons. One is that Syria houses Russia`s only foreign military base and naval installation. Secondly is that Russia is keen to protect one of her allies during the cold war. Third is that Russia views the intervention in Syria as imperialist which basically threatens Russia. Fourth is that Russia sells huge military weapons to Syria and thus is keen to protect its market.
The current turmoil in Syria pitting government forces against rebels is a continuation of the Arab spring as witnessed in Libya, Egypt Tunisia etc. The war in Syria captures the role of the international community in maintaining global peace. It also shows how superpowers, in this case Russia US, are still engaged in proxy wars as was the case during the Cold War.
Bremmer, I. (19[th] Sept 2013). Putin is winning on Snowden, Syria and Sochi… but so what?
Retrieved online on 29[th] Nov 2013 from
Russia is winning against Russia. Attempts by the US to have Edward Snowden repatriated to the US have hit a snug when Russia offered the dissident asylum. In another instance, Russia managed to block the UN Security Council`s attempts to seek military intervention in Syria. These actions by Russian president Vladimir Putin are not carried out with the interest of Russia as a country but to embarrass the Obama administration.
The world is warming up to Russia as a result. The fact that the Olympic Committee chose Russia to host the 2014 Olympics was another win for Russia. Although Russia has many shortfalls in terms of strict laws, corruption and political manipulation, the country is boating about its abilities at the cost of the US. In fact, the Olympic budget has overshot by 500% with majority of the funds going to corruption rather than the games preparations.
The Russian government has openly banned homosexuality in the county. This is seen as open rejection of the US stand on human freedoms which advocate for equal rights for same sex couples and marriages. As a result, some demonstrations were organized in Russia, Pussy Riot, but had little impact on the government`s stand on homosexuality.
The article attempts to show the wars between Putin and Obama being fought in the shadows with Putin emerging as the better opponent. The competition between the two countries is gradually returning to the levels of the Cold war. The main battle fronts are Syria and Iran.
Chicago tribune editorial (20[th] Nov 2013). Destroying Syrian chemical weapons is a job for
Russia. Retrieved online on 29[th] Nov 2013 from
In August, the Syrian government was accused of using chemical weapons against civilians killing hundreds of them. The Assad government blamed the attacks on the US-backed rebels. In response, the Obama administration threatened to launch a missile strike to destroy the chemicals ones. Russia, US congress and other countries around the world opposed this move in favor of a more diplomatic approach.
Consequently, Russia and the US held talks agreed on the deal to destroy 1300 tons of chemicals weapons held by the Syrian government. The process has been slow hence the suggestion to move the chemicals to another country for destruction. However, this presents several problems. The logistical and security needs to transport such as stockpile exposes risk of exposure to terrorists. Secondly, countries are reluctant to take up the task with Norway and Albania already turning down the request.
The US is barred by its laws to take up the task. The other option is Russia but it has not offered support. Though it has the capacity and experience in destroying its own chemical weapons, Russia has so far offered technical support only. Although the US surprisingly agreed on the deal to destroy the chemical weapons, none has shown willingness to assist in the actual destruction or discuss the same.
The article is very important in understanding the dynamics of global political power balance. The US as a super power recognizes the international law and respects it. On the other hand, it is clear that there is need for cooperation between the super powers. Any heightened friction between them or their respective allies could throw the world into global turmoil and a possible world war III.

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