Africa: What Obama didn’t say was more revealing than what he did

Africans are used to having heads of state from the global north coming and telling them what they should be doing to lift their countries out of poverty. President Barak Obama’s visit to Kenya and Ethiopia in East Africa at the end of July in many respects upheld that time-honoured tradition. But with an important difference. Obama’s Kenyan paternal family background made his presence in the country as much a homecoming as a state visit. He was welcomed with open arms by an adoring public and upbeat local media. The same went for his visit to Ethiopia. For many people … Continue reading

Six misconceptions about the Iran nuclear deal

Negotiations_about_Iranian_Nuclear_Program_-_the_Ministers_of_Foreign_Affairs_and_Other_Officials_of_the_P5+1_and_Ministers_of_Foreign_Affairs_of_Iran_and_EU_in_Lausanne

The deal on Iran’s nuclear programme has the potential to break with the tensions of the past. Yet the deal was made on wrongheaded assumptions about Iran. To this day we still view the country through a prism of falsehoods. 1. ‘Iran is developing nuclear weapons’. Contrary to popular belief, there is evidence which suggests Iran is not developing nuclear weapons. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons in 2005. It wouldn’t make much sense for Khamenei to issue meaningless fatwas. But it’s not the only evidence. In 2012 the US defense secretary, Leon … Continue reading