The Realists in Tehran

By Sergey Markedonov

The Iranian problem stands out on the international agenda. But it is much broader and more diverse than Iran’s desire to acquire a nuclear bomb. Iran is accused of being a source of both regional instability and far-reaching geopolitical ambitions. Although today's Iran demonstrates a desire to play in the international geopolitical game, it remains primarily a regional power with a significant presence in the Middle East, Central Asia and the South Caucasus. READ MORE

Kazakhstan to assist Kyrgyzstan to join Customs Union

By Elena Kosolapova

Kyrgyzstan may become a new member of the Customs Union in the near future. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev promised to help in removing existing barriers to join this organization. Kazakhstan is one of Kyrgyzstan's major political and economic partners. READ MORE

Islamism in Azerbaijan

Islamism is rising in Azerbaijan but remains a manageable threat which is unlikely to topple the country's government or seriously affect the nearby 2014 Sochi Olympics, argues Stratfor. READ MORE

Britain's Strategy

By George Friedman

Britain controlled about one-fourth of the Earth's land surface and one-fifth of the world's population in 1939. Fifty years later, its holdings outside the British Isles had become trivial, and it even faced an insurgency in Northern Ireland. READ MORE

SCO speeding up establishment of special account

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is to speed up the establishment of a special account and development bank so as to enhance members' ability to cope with new threats and challenges, reported Xinhua. READ MORE

Kyrgyz-Russian Relations Salvaged, As Gazprom Weighs Another Buyout

By Myles G. Smith

Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambaev, in an interview with the Russian daily Kommersant on April 10, said that while some may want to drive a wedge between Russia and Kyrgyzstan, “this will be hard to do.” Considering Atambayev’s streak of bewildering statements on Russia, and Kyrgyzstan’s policy over the last month, fallout appears to be becoming a permanent possibility. READ MORE

The Legacy of Soviet Nuclear Industry in Tajikistan: Opportunities and Challenges

By Mark Vinson

In April, Rustam Latifov, the head of the Tajik Parliament’s Ecological Commission, announced Tajikistan’s intention to seek international donors to help secure more than 50,000 tons of radioactive waste in Taboshar and distribute humanitarian funds for 2,000 people in the immediate vicinity who are particularly exposed in the villages of Old Taboshar and Somoni (ozodi.org, April 12). Taboshar, situated in the Ferghana Valley of Sugd Oblast just north of Khujand (Tajikistan’s second largest city), is one of ten Soviet-era nuclear sites in the country. While a part of the Soviet Union, Sugd Oblast was a center for both the extraction and enrichment of uranium. Mines in Taboshar and Adrasman provided uranium to the Leninabad Mining and Chemical Combine (now the Vostochnyy Rare Metal Industrial Association, or Vostokredmet) in the city of Chkalovsk. The then-Leninabad plant processed up to 1,000,000 metric tons of uranium a year to enrich yellowcake and uranium hexafluoride and provided the material for the USSR’s first nuclear weapon. READ MORE

Uzbekistan: Will Karimov Get Blown Off in Windy City?


By Deirdre Tynan

It appears that Uzbek President Islam Karimov’s efforts to obtain a one-on-one meeting with US President Barack Obama are coming up short, an informed source indicates. Obama's preliminary schedule for the upcoming NATO summit reportedly does not include individual meetings with any of the Central Asian leaders who are planning on attending the event. READ MORE

Center Of Political Tranformation Of The Islamic World

Kazakhstan as one of the largest countries of Asia is gradually becoming a center of political transformation of the Islamic world. As head of the 38th Council of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the country is making every effort to resolve the pressing problems of the Islamic community. READ MORE