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Iran

The Samson Option upheld

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According to investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, the Samson Option is the name Israel has given to its nuclear arsenal. The title recalls the biblical superhero Samson, who himself was killed when by pulling on the support pillars he brought down the Philistine Temple in Gaza, killing its ruling class.

Beginning with the writing of the militarist Ze'ev Jabotinsky, the image of Samson has been central to construction in popular culture of the modern Zionist identity of "the fighting Jew" who has left exile and subjugation behind forever.

Whither the Middle East?

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Authors' note: This blog post is part two of a two-part series. Read part one: "A Middle Eastern House of Cards."

Great uncertainty hovers over discussions of the shape of the new order that will emerge from the violence and chaos sweeping through the Middle East today. The old order, unnaturally born from the Sykes-Picot Agreement 100 years ago, is coming to an end, dealt a death blow by the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, and alternative visions for the region have proved misguided.

A Middle Eastern House of Cards

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Ninety-nine years ago, on May 16, 1916, the Sykes-Picot Agreement, officially known as the Asia Minor Agreement, laid down the borders of the Middle East as we have known them for a century. The diplomats, Francois Georges-Picot for France and Sir Mark Sykes for Britain, had worked out the details in five months of negotiations, from November 1915 to March 1916.

Bishop: Framework on Iran's nuclear program a step to advancing peace

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The adoption of a framework related to Iran's nuclear program by the United States and other countries is an important step in "advancing a peaceful resolution" to the questions surrounding the program, the chairman of the U.S. bishop's Committee on International Justice and Peace.

Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, N.M., said April 8 in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Monday in letters to every member of Congress that the framework was a milestone in the long-standing negotiations to curb the "unacceptable prospect of Iran developing nuclear weapons."

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