Politicians should focus on measures that can assist the democratic reforms advocated inside the country
Ellie Geranmayeh
The past week of nationwide demonstrations in Iran, the largest in almost a decade, surprised many of the country's political leaders and elites. The endurance and repercussions of the protests are uncertain, but they have already shined an unwelcome spotlight on widespread domestic frustrations at a delicate time for President Rouhani's foreign policy legacy.
Europe is less vulnerable than ever to 'the Russian gas weapon', and the threat can be further mitigated
Noah Gordon
Gazprom, the state-owned Russian gas giant, wants to build a new gas pipeline, known as Nord Stream 2, in the Baltic Sea between Russia and Germany. Critics correctly point out that Western Europe would benefit from cheaper gas, while Central and Eastern Europe would still be too reliant on gas delivered through Ukraine. But Europe is less vulnerable to “the Russian gas weapon” than ever, and the threat to some Member States can be mitigated if the EU continues to build a better-integrated, better-connected gas market. If built, Nord Stream 2 would follow the path of Nord Stream 1, doubling the route's capacity, and enabling Western Europe to import more gas as indigenous production declines. The backers of the project are Gazprom, the state-owned Russian company, and five energy companies from Germany, France, the UK, and the Netherlands.