On the Middle East with Andrew Parasiliti and Amberin Zaman, an Al-Monitor Podcast | Iran’s past nuclear activities at ‘heart of the matter’ of nuclear talks, says Mark Fitzpatrick
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On the Middle East with Andrew Parasiliti and Amberin Zaman, an Al-Monitor Podcast
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Each week Andrew Parasiliti, president of the award-winning news site Al-Monitor, and Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor’s Senior Correspondent, interview newsmakers, journalists and thought leaders from the US and Middle East about the latest news and trends in the region.
Andrew has been writing about, and traveling in, the Middle East for over three decades, meeting and interviewing the region’s top political and civil society leaders. Since obtaining his PH.D from Johns Hopkins University, he has held appointments at Harvard University, the RAND Corporation, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and as foreign policy adviser to US Senator Chuck Hagel. Andrew writes Al-Monitor’s must read Takeaway and Week in Review columns, and is an adjunct political scientist at RAND and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Amberin travels the region for Al-Monitor, specializing in breaking news and analysis in Turkey, Iraq and Syria and writes the daily Briefly Turkey newsletter. Prior to Al-Monitor, she covered Turkey, the Kurds and conflicts in the region for The Washington Post, The Daily Telegraph, The Los Angeles Times and the Voice of America, and was The Economist's Turkey correspondent between 1999 and 2016.
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Iran’s past nuclear activities at ‘heart of the matter’ of nuclear talks, says Mark Fitzpatrick
Mark Fitzpatrick, Associate Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies and expert on Iran’s nuclear program, discusses whey there may be an Iran nuclear deal sooner rather than later, how close Iran may be to developing a nuclear weapon, and why an Iran nuclear deal would be an obvious benefit for regional security.
Syrian Kurdish leader Salih Muslim says Russia allows Turkish drone strikes but no ground offensive against Syria's Kurds
Turkish leaders continue to threaten another military offensive against the Syrian Kurds. But they need either the Kremlin's or Washington's approval to mount any such offensive in the zones that are under Russian and US control. Salih Muslim, the leader of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party that hold power in northeast Syria says Erdogan is unpredictable and might carry out a military operation.
Muslim recalls in this conversaton with Amberin Zaman the days when he used to travel to Turkey when Ankara was holding peace talks with the Kurdistan Workers Party leader Abdullah Ocalan and his commanders in the field. Muslim says until Turkey solves its Kurdish question there cannot be peace in the region.
Tunisian people’s choice is clear with referendum vote, says Ambassador Hanene Tajouri Bessassi, responding to US criticism
Hanene Tajouri Bessassi, Tunisia’s ambassador to the United States, says that while US criticism of the July 25 vote was considered interference in the country’s domestic politics, Tunis welcomes continued US partnership and international support for democracy, which she described as the ‘unique destiny of the Tunisian people.’
Former Ukrainian diplomat: Yevgeniya Gaber says Erdogan needs to go to Kyiv to win hearts and minds
Amberin Zaman speaks to Yevgeniya Gaber a former Ukrainian diplomat who is currently a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and Carleton University about Turkey's role in the Russia Ukraine conflict ahead of President Erdogan's meeting with Vladimir Putin in Sochi. 
Turkey has been seeking to play mediator between the warring countries and scored a diplomatic victory earlier this month brokering a deal together with the United Nations for Ukrainian grain to be shipped from its blockaded Black Sea ports. The first ship laden with Ukrainian grain departed Odesa today but the road ahead is pitted with risks and it's too soon to celebrate, argues Gaber.
Elizabeth and Andrew’s final take on Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia
Elizabeth Hagedorn, Al-Monitor State Department Correspondent, and Andrew review US President Joe Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia, including what was achieved, and not achieved, with regard to Iran, human rights, energy security, and the war in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia’s return as swing oil producer should be deliverable for Biden visit, says Martin Indyk
Martin Indyk, Distinguished Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, discusses US President Joe Biden’s trip this week to Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia, and his recent CFR Special Report, with Steven Cook,  The Case for a New US-Saudi Strategic Compact. Indyk has served as US ambassador to Israel, assistant secretary of state for Near East Affairs, special assistant to President Clinton and special envoy under President Obama for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and is the author of Master of The Game: Henry Kissinger and the Art of Middle East Diplomacy
Turkish geopolitical analyst Yoruk Isik says Erosion of rule of law in Turkey eases illegal trade in stolen Ukrainian wheat
Ukraine is accusing Russia of stealing its grain and shipping it to Turkey via the Black Sea. Ukraine wants Turkey to crack down on the illicit trade but Ankara is wary of upsetting the Kremlin.
Iran uneasy with trend in Israel-Gulf security cooperation, says Dina Esfandiary
Dr. Dina Esfandiary, Senior Advisor for the Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group, discusses the latest round of indirect talks between Iran and the US about the Iran nuclear deal; Iran’s policies in Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen; and how Iran is managing its ties with Russia and China following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
'Right moment’ for steps toward Israel-Saudi normalization, says Daniel Shapiro
Daniel Shapiro, former US Ambassador to Israel and Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council, discusses what to expect from US President Joe Biden’s trip next month to Israel, the West Bank, and Saudi Arabia; whether the US and Israel are in sync on the Iran nuclear deal; the prospects for Israel-Saudi normalization and Israel-Palestinian peace talks; and scenarios for Israel’s fall elections, including the possible return of Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister.
Saudi Arabia banking oil windfall to keep focus on fiscal discipline, diversification, says Stephen Kalin
Stephen Kalin, Wall Street Journal Middle East Correspondent based in Riyadh and Dubai, breaks down the issues around US President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia and the region, including Iran, Yemen, Israel normalization, and global energy security….and how Saudi Arabia is managing the windfall from higher oil prices.
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