This week will see world powers gather for Geneva II talks aimed at dampening the violence of the now almost three-year conflict in Syria. The negotiations had long ago became a proxy for broader diplomatic dynamics unfolding throughout the Middle East and Central Asia, and further controversy erupted over the weekend when the United Nations issued an invitation for Iran - widely blamed for propping up the Bashar al-Assad regime - to attend.
The perception that Tehran has momentum is likely to fuel ongoing moves by various regional actors to position themselves against and within the so-called resistance bloc anchored by Iran. U.S. allies increasingly fear that Washington is either unable to unwilling to check Iranian expansionism, and may pursue policies independently of, or even at odds with, U.S. policy.
Geneva II may prove to be a critical inflection point for such perceptions.
Listen in as The Israel Project hosts an on-record conference call with Foundation for Defense of Democracies Research Fellow Tony Badran, who will outline the stakes involved in Geneva II beyond the Syrian battlefield, and how the players are positioning themselves as the talks launch.
About The Speaker
Tony Badran is a Research Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) in Washington, DC. He focuses on Lebanon, Syria and Hezbollah. His research includes U.S. policy toward Lebanon and Syria; Syrian foreign policy, with a focus on its regional relations and its ties to militant non-state actors and terrorist groups.
Born and raised in Lebanon, Mr. Badran also specializes in Lebanese affairs, including the military history of the Lebanese civil war, and has written extensively on Hezbollah. Mr. Badran has testified on Syria before the House of Representatives and the European Parliament and speaks frequently at leading policy research institutes.
Mr. Badran’s writings appear regularly in a range of publications including the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, ForeignPolicy.com, ForeignAffairs.com and The Weekly Standard, among others, and he writes a weekly commentary for NOW Lebanon, a news site that covers the Middle East, with a focus on Lebanese and Syrian affairs.