Iran’s President Is Betting Billions on Economic Reform


By Reese Erlich VICE News, April 19, 2016   Remember the $150 billion windfall from the nuclear deal that US hawks said Iran could use to sponsor terrorism? Turns out the Iranian government has brought back $7 billion, and most of it will be used for development projects, according to Iranian officials and economists — … Continue reading

Iran Is Scared of America’s Hardliners


Iranians have voted out opponents of the nuclear deal. But they’re still worried the United States won’t live up to its side of the bargain. By Reese Erlich Foreign Policy, March 4, 2016  TEHRAN – In the aftermath of the nuclear agreement, the debates in the United States and Iran have become a mirror image … Continue reading

Iran’s Diplomatic Dance on Syria


Tehran says it backs the Syrian cease-fire — but only if it can still hammer “terrorists” the West sees as the valid opposition to Assad. By Reese Erlich Foreign Policy, March 1, 2016 TEHRAN — As a partial cease-fire between the Syrian government and some rebel groups began Saturday, Iranian authorities expressed support for the … Continue reading

US and Russia compete to woo Syrian Kurd rebels


POLITICO Magazine November 02, 2015 Now Obama wants to help the Kurds? Russia’s already there. By  Reese Erlich Sulimaniya, Kurdish Region, Iraq – President Obama’s bid to exert more influence in the Syrian civil war may be too little, too late. Stung by Vladimir Putin’s military intervention, Obama last week foreswore his previous refusal to … Continue reading

Nuclear Deal Gives Iranian Reformers Hope


The Progressive Magazine November 17, 2015   Reese Erlich   TEHRAN—Three students are standing outside the University of Tehran excitedly discussing the future of their country. Now that the United States and Iran have agreed on a nuclear accord, Iranians have high hopes for improving the economy.   “Trade will come back,” says Iman Ahdeli, … Continue reading

Meeting an Al Qaeda Leader


VICE News, November 5, 2015 By Reese Erlich A radical Islamic cleric once described as Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe says that Syria can no longer function as a nation state, and will be permanently fragmented into zones controlled by various rebel groups.   “Syria will be torn into pieces,” said Abu Qatada … Continue reading

Terror Groups Compete With the West for Rebel Recruits in Jordan


Vice News, November 23, 2015 by Reese Erlich  Earlier this month, a Jordanian police captain opened fire at a police training center in Amman, killing at least five people before he was shot dead himself.   Among his victims were a South African and two US citizens working for DynCorp International, a military contractor used … Continue reading

Comedy is a serious business


The Monthly, December 2015 FROM THE LEFT SIDE OF THE BALCONY Three comics discuss the art of standup, managing to work some funny one-liners into the conversation. By Reese Erlich It’s not easy making comedy from U.S. foreign policy. The policy may be a joke, but few people laugh about it. Will Durst is one … Continue reading

The Black Panthers Are Back


Wednesday, September 30, 2015 The Monthly by Reese Erlich   Seeing a documentary on the Black Panthers while sitting next to Bobby Seale is quite an experience. As we watch a press preview of the film in an East Oakland home, the co-founder of the Panthers sometimes calls out the names of old comrades as … Continue reading

Who’s the Bad Guy? The View on Foreign Policy From Tehran


Vice News By Reese Erlich August 28, 2015 The motorcycle chained to the tree in front of Mansoureh Karami’s house looked like a typical fast food delivery bike. Her husband, nuclear scientist Masoud Alimohammadi, started his car, preparing for his usual drive to the University of Tehran. “The moment he closed the car door I … Continue reading