Insider news & Analysis in Iran

A nine month peace process between Israel and Palestine came to an unsuccessful close on Tuesday. Each side has predictably levied blame on the other for this latest failure, as well as directing blame at the United States and Secretary of State John Kerry, who acted as mediator for the discussions.

In a televised speech on Tuesday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Mariziyeh Afkham offered official comments on the situation in Syria, including the Bashar al-Assad’s recent announcement that he will seek a third term as president of the country even as it remains in the midst of a civil war that has now lasted more than three years, having begun with efforts to oust Assad’s Ba’ath Party government in the wake of the Arab Spring.

As one would expect, Iran’s role in Iraqi affairs was a common theme in Dexter Filkins’ comments to Terry Gross on the April 29th edition of the NPR program Fresh Air. Filkins covered the Iraq war from start to finish as a reporter for the New York Times. Now a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, he has written an in-depth article summing up the situation in Iraq since the US left the nation to its own devices.

AFP is reporting that an international watch dog organization is probing claims that chlorine gas was used in an attack on an Islamic school in Syria. The Telegraph claims that soil samples from the site of three recent attacks provide conclusive evidence that the Assad regime is still using chemical weapons despite its agreement to hand over weapons stockpiles following an August attack on Damascus suburbs, which killed as many as 1400 people.

Editor’s note:Fearing that Bashar al-Assad's downfall would allow Syria's Islamist-dominated opposition to intensify its support for Iraq's militants, Iraq's Shia-dominated government has in turn allowed Syria-bound Iranian cargo flights to use Iraqi airspace. It has also turned a blind eye to Iraqi Shia militias entering Syria to support the Syrian regime. These militias have ensured the survival of the Assad regime alongside other Shia actors such as Hezbollah.

Dexter Filkins to Discuss Iraq on NPR’s Fresh Air:If you are in the US, check your local NPR station for when it broadcasts Fresh Air with Terry Gross. The April 29th edition will feature an interview with journalist Dexter Filkins, who recently spent four weeks in Iraq, in the run-up to its national elections.

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