Weekend Roundup: Fate of Iran Deal Twists in the Wind

In the dog days of late summer in the northern hemisphere, the fate of the deal that would curb Iran’s capacity to produce nuclear weapons twists in the wind. The ongoing uncertainty has revealed just how hard it is for U.S. President Barack Obama to establish his authority over the U.S. Congress and America’s allies. The robust public debate over the controversial deal in Iran also reveals it is a much more open society than its Arab counterparts in the region.

Seyed Hossein Mousavian, a former head of the foreign relations committee of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, envisions a new era of relations between Iran and America and calls on Congress not to make an “historic blunder” by rejecting the deal. Iranian philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo argues that “the habits of hope in Iranian culture” are behind the public embrace of the agreement. WorldPost Managing Editor Farah Mohamed surveys views on the deal from everyday people on the ground in Iran. Payam Mohseni examines how experts and scholars in the Arab world regard the Iran deal. Writing from Amman, Daoud Kuttab sees signs that the prospect of rapprochement with Iran on the nuclear issue is easing, not exacerbating, conflicts in the Middle East. Noam Chomsky questions the notion that Iran is the biggest threat to world peace. Nuclear physicist Yousaf Butt writes from London that past mistakes by IAEA inspectors give Iran good reason to insist on its own inspection of the Parchin weapons site. Jessica Schulberg and Sam Stein report on the controversy over the procedures of the IAEA inspection accord with Iran.

Writing from Jerusalem, Stefan Ihrig proposes that Israel and Armenia should “adopt” and protect the persecuted Yazidis because of their own history with genocide and ethnic cleansing. Ani Zonneveld controversially argues that the brutal governance of the Islamic State is based on a vision of Sharia shared by many Muslim societies. Kecia Ali counters that the truth about Islam and sex slavery history is “more complicated” than news reports would lead one to think. Lydia O’Connor reports on how women in Saudi Arabia are able to register to vote for the first time.

Aylin Unver Noi fears that Turkey’s ramped up battle against ISIS and the Kurdish PKK could end up repeating the violence of the 1990s in the region. Emadeddin Zahri Muntasser defends the death penalty that was approved for Muammar Gaddafi’s son and eight others for “war crimes,” arguing that “Libyans have earned the right to see their tormentors brought to justice.”

Former British Prime Minister and UN envoy Gordon Brown marked World Humanitarian Day this week by highlighting the distressing fact that, today, there are 30 million “displaced boys and girls” around the planet. EU parliamentarian Guy Verhofstadt calls for a Europe-wide solution to the current migrant crisis. “We can’t succumb to nationalists, point fingers or raise walls,” he writes. In a photo essay, we look at heart-rending images of migrant children stranded at the Macedonian border.

Writing from Athens, Pavlos Tsimas says that the tough terms of Greece’s latest bailout spell “the end of magical thinking.” In the wake of Alexis Tsipras’ resignation, Paul Vale examines the paradox of the former Greek prime minister, who has delivered “the opposite of what he promised.” Alexis Gagglias and Danae Leivada ask expats living in Greece why they plan to stay put despite the protracted economic crisis.

Writing from Hong Kong, Chandran Nair argues that we are entering an “age of divergence,” not “the great convergence” of prosperity along the Western model. Much of the world, he writes, is more in need of toilets than telecom. Former Economist editor Bill Emmott asks why the emerging economies have stopped emerging and answers that it is because of their “dysfunctional political institutions.” WorldPost China Correspondent Matt Sheehan reports on the public suspicion that corruption and lax regulation was behind the horrific chemical explosion in Tianjin. J. Michael Cole writes on what he calls an “alarming” recruiting video for the People’s Liberation Army Navy that features muscular images of ships and planes and an appeal to “the honor of genes.” HuffPost Korea outlines the four things we need to know about the latest crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

Kara Andrade chronicles the life and death of the Mexican activist Miguel Ángel Jiménez Blanco, who was recently murdered most likely because of his efforts to uncover the truth about the 43 missing students in Guerrero.

Kim Bellware reports on the first near-fully formed brain grown in a lab. Our Singularity series this week explains how your doctor can examine a replica of your heart through virtual reality. Finally, as the drought deepens in California, Fusion notes that lawn grass is America’s largest single “crop.”

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CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large.

The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.

Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.

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