Massimiliano Fiore

EU Med Policy

Rethinking the EU's Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Policy

By Massimiliano Fiore

The revolts sweeping through the Mediterranean and the Middle East have exposed the tremendous shortcomings of EU policy towards the region. That policy mistakenly equated short-term stability with deeper and long-term sustainability. In a number of recent speeches, European commissioners have admitted they were wrong to prioritise short-term interests, centred on economic cooperation, security and migration management. 

Israel-Lebanon Maritime Border

Israel-Lebanon Scramble for Eastern Mediterranean Gas

By Massimiliano Fiore

Over the last 12 months, Israel and Lebanon have become embroiled in a legal and diplomatic battle over rights to undersea natural gas fields along their common but disputed maritime border. This could potentially provide the spark to ignite the next war between the Jewish State and the Islamic Resistance Movement Hezbollah. A gigantic deposit of natural gas (Leviathan) estimated to contain 453 billion cubic meters of natural gas, at a likely market value in the hundreds of billions of dollars, was discovered in June 2010 approximately 130 kilometres offshore of Haifa. Alongside natural gas, the Leviathan is also believed to yield 4,2 billion barrels of oil.

AP Photo/Bassem Tellawi

An Opportunity for Peacemaking

By Massimiliano Fiore

With the Middle East in turmoil and the Quartet (the US, UN, EU and Russia) eager to resume the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is under intense international pressure to prove he is serious about achieving peace. 

AP Photo/Vahid Salemi

What Is Worse for Israel, Attacking or Not Attacking Iran’s Nuclear Infrastructure?

By Massimiliano Fiore

It is possible that at some point in the next 15-18 months Israel’s policy-makers and military officials will need to decide whether or not to attack Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. That would certainly be one of the most complicated decisions since the establishment of the State of Israel. What political considerations would influence it? And, what short-term strategic developments would be set in motion either by a nuclear-ready Iran or by an Israeli military strike against Iran’s nuclear installations?

AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner

Ghajar Divided Again

By Massimiliano Fiore

On 17 November, the residents of Ghajar, a divided village straddling the border between Lebanon and Israel, took to the streets to protest against the Israeli Security Cabinet’s approval of a plan to unilaterally withdraw the Israel Defence Force (IDF) from the northern half of the village. 

AP Photo/Leslie Mazoch

What Lurks Behind Iran’s Involvement in Latin America?

By Massimiliano Fiore

Since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s election in 2005, Iran has been promoting an aggressive policy aimed at expanding its diplomatic and economic influence across Latin America.

AP Photo/Ibrahim Usta

Was the Mossad Really Behind the Resurgence of Kurdish Terrorism in Turkey?

By Massimiliano Fiore

On 31 May, the same day as the Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that killed nine Turkish citizens, the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) carried out a rocket attack on a military vehicle near the Iskenderun Naval Base, killing seven Turkish sailors and injuring six others. This coincidence and the fact that it was not a conventional PKK attack, taking place outside its traditional area of operation, raised strong suspicions that the two incidents were related.