It was another week of stumbling into the unknown for a group of seven men attempting to make the long trek from Tajikistan to Mecca entirely by foot.
"A rather uneasy encounter with the Taliban, running into a NATO forces' checkpoint, and a lavish dinner at the Balkh governor's residence," group head Abdulaziz Rajabov says as he lists the highlights of the week.
A US government-funded survey on mass media trends in Iran found that state television remains by far the most common source of news for Iranians, though roughly half its viewers admit that they don't consider it to be entirely trustworthy. At the same time, Iranians are skeptical of the content in foreign news broadcasts too.
The United States is facing some interesting diplomatic choices in South Asia. Washington is no doubt cheered by Turkmenistan’s recent commitment to ship natural gas via Afghanistan to India and Pakistan.
Georgia is clearly the closest US ally in the South Caucasus, moving in lockstep with American interests on just about every foreign policy issue – except one: Iran. Not wanting to become embroiled in a potential regional conflict, officials in Tbilisi are trying to finesse relations with Tehran, while staying in Washington’s good graces.
For a few dedicated academics, the Cold War isn’t dead. While recent archival research tends to uphold existing interpretations of the superpower confrontation, scholars have made a few exciting finds.
The last time that Turkey sought to mediate between Iran and the international community over Tehran’s nuclear energy program, it ended in a diplomatic fiasco. Now, two years later, Turkey is trying again. Will the results prove any different?
A poet and scholar before he was a diplomat, Tehran’s long-serving ambassador to Dushanbe, Ali Asghar Sheardoost, is known about town for his devotion to Iranian and Tajik cultural and linguistic ties. But he also serves as an emissary to one of Iran’s few friends.
Azerbaijani military and political analysts are disputing a March 28 report on an American website that alleges Israel has gained access to airbases in Azerbaijan for possible use in an attack against Iran.