On COI #316, Kyle Anzalone and Connor Freeman cover the assassination of Darya Dugina, the latest JCPOA news, Tehran’s improved diplomatic ties with Arab states, and the recent U.S. bombings in Syria.
Connor discusses a car bombing outside Moscow that killed Russian journalist Darya Dugina, nationalist philosopher Alexander Dugin’s daughter. Dugina was driving her father’s SUV when it was engulfed in flames, it is believed they both were targeted for assassination. The Russian FSB had identified a suspect, a Ukrainian woman who was allegedly working for Kiev’s intelligence services and is said to be a member of the Azov Battalion, the infamous neo-Nazi national guard unit. Though Kiev denies these claims and Moscow has not presented sufficient evidence to support its accusations. In the corporate press, Dugin is often painted as Vladimir Putin’s “brain.” Though this common claim is widely disputed.
As a result of continued Iranian concessions, Washington appears closer to returning to the JCPOA. Iran even dropped its demands regarding closing the IAEA probe into the uranium particles at “undeclared sites.” The EU foreign policy chief described the Iranians’ response to his proposal as “reasonable.” However, Republicans and Democrats in Congress are quickly ramping up their organized opposition to the deal, putting pressure on Joe Biden’s administration. Tel Aviv is sending high officials to Washington in an attempt to stop the ongoing negotiations.
Kyle covers how Iran is seeing tangible progress in its diplomacy with its neighbors, namely Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and now possibly even Saudi Arabia. Both Kuwait City and Abu Dhabi have returned their ambassadors to Tehran. The Iranians want to reengage in talks with Riyadh. They have said the regional climate is building optimism for normalization of ties with the Saudis.
This week, the U.S. bombed Shi’ite groups in Syria, killing six to ten people. The Pentagon claimed the targets were connected to the IRGC and involved in a drone attack on a U.S. base earlier this month which killed nobody. Of course, the DOD presented no evidence to back up its claims. CENTCOM said Biden ordered the strike and did it in self-defense but the U.S. illegally occupies about a third of Syria where the troops’ presence is strongly opposed. After the strike, a U.S. base in eastern Syria was hit with rockets and some troops were injured, the U.S. followed up with helicopter strikes. Iran has denied involvement with the group the U.S. targeted and condemned the strikes against Syria.