The following article by Paul Goble appears on his blog, Window on Eurasia.
Window on Eurasia: The Ancient and Mysterious Karaims Now Face Extinction
Staunton, May 13 - The Karaims, an ancient people surrounded in mystery because of their combination of Jewish, Christian and Muslim characteristics, are at the edge of extinction in both Ukraine and the Russian Federation, a situation that neither Kyiv nor Moscow seems ready or able to combat.
In an article on the “Kavkavskaya politika” portal today entitled “The Jews of the Caucasus,” Zaur Karayev tells something about this unusual people whose religion is usually considered a branch of Judaism but which in a highly unusual way “combines in itself elements of Christianity and Islam” (kavpolit.com/iudei-kavkaza/).
Scholars have been arguing about the Karaim for most of the last two centuries, Karayev notes. Until the 20th century, most suggested that they were of Jewish origin given their basic religious practice, “but this theory has several shortcomings,” he continues, including the date of their emergence and the distinction between the Karaim as an ethnic group and Karaimism as a sect within Judaism.
In the article below, Amir Fakhravar, Research Fellow for IWP’s Center for Culture and Security, and co-author G. William Heiser discuss the relationship between Iran and North Korea. The article can be found on RealClearReligion.org.
Tehran Trades Oil for Nukes
By Amir Fakhravar and G. William Heiser
The collaboration between the world’s foremost nuclear proliferators appears to be accelerating.
In September 2012, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea signed a bilateral scientific and technological agreement opening the way for nuclear as well as missile technology collaboration. In February 2013, North Korea tested, no doubt with Iranian scientists observing, a nuclear device which U.S. experts suspect may be based upon highly enriched uranium. A report just surfaced in Washington that North Korea may have acquired the capability to miniaturize nuclear warheads for delivery by ballistic missiles, another technological area in which Pyongyang is ahead of Tehran. And now, a North Korean delegation visits Iran to conclude a deal involving major exports of Iranian oil.
In a press conference on April 21, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Ghasemi announced that an agreement between Iran and North Korea was signed and Iran will export 100,000 barrels of oil per day to North Korea. North Korea has no crude oil reserves of its own. This is a huge deal and North Korea does not have the cash to pay for it.
What would be of more value to Tehran than cash for its oil? Nuclear cooperation, of course.
In a video for Next Generation TV recorded April 9, CCS Research Fellow Amir Fakhravar discussed “Iranian Youth: Why the Next Generation in Iran Could Turn West and Away from Radical Islam” with Michelle Fields.
On April 3, 2013, Center for Culture and Security Research Fellow Amir Fakhravar discussed Iran’s nuclear program in an interview with Allen West for Next Generation TV.
Akbar Ahmed | March 7, 2013 - The Thistle and the Drone: The United States, Islam, and the War on Terror
Relying upon forty case studies of tribal societies across the Muslim world, from Morocco to the southern Philippines The Thistle and the Drone shows that the war on terror across the Muslim world is being fueled by the structural breakdown between the center and periphery rather than any compulsion within the Islamic faith.
Strategic and Efficient Foreign Engagement Need Not Be an Oxymoron: Lessons Learned from Recent Decades
You are cordially invited to a lecture on
Strategic and Efficient Foreign Engagement Need Not Be an Oxymoron:
Lessons Learned from Recent Decades
CEO of the Institute for State Effectiveness
Monday, April 8
The Institute of World Politics
1521 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
This lecture is sponsored by IWP’s Center for Culture and Security.
Clare Lockhart was named among the 100 most influential global thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine in 2009 and 2010 for her work on fragile states. From 2001 through 2005, Clare was UN Adviser to the Bonn Agreement in Afghanistan, and was then seconded to the Afghan Government. Subsequently, she has been called on to advise NATO/ISAF and the US Government on a range of global issues. Prior to 2001, Ms. Lockhart managed a program on Institutions and Strategy at the World Bank. She is a barrister and has practiced human rights and public law at the English Bar, and she has degrees from Oxford and Harvard. She has published numerous articles on issues of development and state fragility, and with Dr. Ashraf Ghani is the co-author of “Fixing Failed States” (Oxford Univ Press 2008).
On Thursday, March 07, 2013, the Center for Culture and Security at The Institute of World Politics and the Confederation of Iranian Students co-hosted a Democratic Transition in Iran Conference, at which the The National Iran Council was introduced.
Speakers included Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Prince Reza Pahlavi (the last crown prince of the former Imperial State of Iran), Amir Abbas Fakhravar (Research Fellow at Institute of World Politics, award winning writer and jailed dissident), and several Interim Committee members of the National Council of Iran, including: Cina Dabestani (Moderator), Riza Pirzadeh, Nazila Golestan, Shahin Nejad, and Amir Golalipour. In addition, MAJ Malcolm Warbrick read a statement from Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), and Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) sent a video message, which was played at the conference.
From Sen. John Cornyn, for 3/5/13 Institute of World Politics event:
Although I am not able to be with you today in person, I appreciate the opportunity to share some thoughts with you on the United States’ policy toward the Iranian regime and the people of Iran.
These days, we hear a lot about the Iranian regime. We hear about the regime’s nuclear weapons program and the threat that it poses to the United States and our allies. We hear about the regime’s direct support for terrorist groups like Hezbollah and their destabilizing influence in the region. We hear about assassinations and attempts the regime has orchestrated on foreign soil. We also hear the regime’s threats–usually from President Ahmadinejad or the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei–against the United States and our allies. We hear a great deal about the actions and policies of the regime, because they are cause for great concern.
But all the discussion about the regime in Tehran should not be allowed to simultaneously drown out the important voice and aspirations of the Iranian people. We know the regime poses a threat to the United States, but we also know it has been oppressing its own people since it took power in 1979. The U.S. Department of State has documented the regime’s horrific human rights record. The Iranian media remains censored, Iranian journalists remain jailed, and the freedoms of speech, assembly, association, movement, and religion remain severely restricted.
Yet in spite of the oppression the Iranian people face, in the summer of 2009, millions of Iranians joined together–they stood up, voted for new leadership, and demanded greater freedom. And the world watched as the regime carried out its brutal response, spilling the blood of its own citizens. But the people of Iran were not dissuaded. As we saw again in 2011, protestors throughout Iran staged rallies in support of the Arab Spring, knowing that the regime would once again crack down-arresting, torturing, and prosecuting protesters and critics for their dissent.
As the next Iranian presidential election approaches, I have no doubt the Iranian people will remind the world once again of their hunger for freedom. We know that the Green Movement remains active–and we know that the Iranian regime fears them, as it is reportedly taking steps to prevent protests surrounding the upcoming June 2013 election.
Today, it remains incumbent upon the United States to stand with the Iranian people who are making great sacrifices to bring democracy to their country. The Iranian people have many allies on Capitol Hill who believe the Green Movement’s efforts in 2009 represented only a beginning, and we will continue to push the Obama Administration to stand with the Iranian people. I admire you for your passion and dedication to bringing democracy to Iran, and I wish you well in your efforts.