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Iran determined to prop up Assad economy

This week, the Islamic Republic of Iran signed an agreement with Assad to supply Damascus with $ 3.6 billion in oil in exchange for Tehran to have the right to invest in Syrian cities. Syria's state news agency (SANA) reported on Tuesday that, "An agreement (on Monday) was signed in Tehran by the Iranian and Syrian central banks, granting Syria a credit line worth $ 3.6 billion."

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A Brief History of Iranian Diversity

The history of what is now known as Iran is a history of various ethnic groups, languages ​​and cultures coexisting amongst one another from time immemorial. For as long as history can remember, ever since the establishment of the first Elamite civilization around 5000 BC, Iran has been a multiracial, multicultural and multilingual society

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IRAN AND THE NEXT U.S. PRESIDENT

To be sure, the Iranians could decide to slow the pace of their efforts either because they fear a military response or to try to gain sanctions relief given the economic pain they are experiencing. But that would require a change in Iran's behavior. Barring that, either a re-elected President Obama or a newly elected Governor Romney will have to decide what else needs to be done to fulfill their objective of prevention.

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Russia's Relations with Iran

Under current conditions, it would be naive to expect Russia to severely curtail its relations with Tehran or officially support the West's stance on the nuclear question. Given Iran's importance as a regional player, Moscow simply cannot afford confrontation with its southern neighbor. At the same time, Russia's pragmatic, cost-benefit approach to foreign policy remains paramount, making a true alliance with volatile Iran highly improbable. What does this mindset mean for US efforts to curb the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions?

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Annan's new road map for peace in Syria

Kofi Annan is tinkering with a radical idea for reviving his moribund peace plan for Syria - a road map for political transition there that would be negotiated through a "contact group" that could include, among other nations, Russia and Iran. The former secretary general's new plan was outlined Tuesday by a diplomat who is familiar with the United Nations mission.

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