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The Fight With Iran Is Growing | Quick Take | GZERO Media

The fight with Iran is growing

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here, and a Quick Take to kick off your week. And we see over the weekend, strikes, drone strikes, explosive drone strikes against Iran, the city of Isfahan, and in particular a major military facility responsible for the production of drones and ballistic missiles. Oh, my.

Of course, Iran is under lots of pressure these days. And not a lot of people are happy with what's happening in that country, not inside the country, with months now of major demonstrations that have only been met with repression from the Iranian government, from its theocracy, from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. We're also seeing that the Iranians are through nuclear breakout capability. They have more than enough, a highly enriched uranium at 60% level, which has no civilian use or purpose. It's only for a military program in a deep, under a mountain at this facility in Fordo, which you can't... The Israelis, for example, don't have the military capacity to strike it or destroy it, a problem, of course, as you think about Iran increasingly becoming a nuclear state.

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Protesters wave flags during a demonstration in Tel Aviv.

Reuters.

Israel’s looming constitutional crisis: What’s the tech sector going to do about it?

Israeli governments have long boasted about their country being an international tech haven. Israeli leaders across the political spectrum brag about national feats including the invention of the gastrointestinal pill camera, USB sticks, and even cherry tomatoes (though many argue the small fruits cannot be attributed to Israeli prowess).

Nonetheless, the Israeli government won’t be feeling tender toward the technology sector this week after hundreds of tech workers in Tel Aviv held a strike Tuesday to protest the Netanyahu coalition’s democratic backsliding. This comes after more than 120,000 Israelis took to the streets in Tel Aviv – and thousands more across the country – on Saturday night to protest the government’s proposed judicial reforms.

With many from the robust tech sector joining the anti-government cause, what's at stake for Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s government – and the country?

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| World in :60 | GZERO Media

Immigration a Biden priority at Three Amigos Summit

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

What's on the agenda at the Three Amigos Summit?

Well, immigration is very high only between the US and Mexico. But still, the fact that Biden is willing to use this pandemic era clause to try to keep migrants from coming to the United States was not on my Bingo card six months ago. A lot of progressive Dems are unhappy with him, and a lot of conservatives are saying he's doing too little, too late, but nonetheless does recognize that he doesn't win any votes on balance by having large number of illegal immigrants continue to come to the United States. Also, a whole bunch of new NAFTA stuff, especially trade relations on energy with the Mexicans, Americans, and the Canadians, pretty unhappy with what AMLO has been doing on that front.

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Bolivian riot police officers clash with demonstrators as protests following the arrest of Santa Cruz governor and right-wing opposition leader Luis Fernando Camacho.

REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

What We’re Watching: Bolivia’s angry farmers, Russia’s response, Bibi’s bumpy beginning

Bolivian farmers vs. the government

Political trouble is brewing in Bolivia. For over a week now, farmers have been blocking roads in and out of the agricultural hub of Santa Cruz after the region's governor, right-wing opposition leader Luis Fernando Camacho, was arrested for his alleged involvement in the 2019 ouster of then-leftist President Evo Morales. Camacho lost the 2020 presidential election to Morales’ protégé Luis Arce, and the two have butted heads ever since. But there's more to it: The protesters also want the national government to carry out a long-delayed census that would give Santa Cruz — a relatively affluent region populated mainly by non-Indigenous Bolivians — more tax revenues and seats in Congress. For his part, Arce says that the farmers are a front for business elites who don't want to share the profits of their lucrative beef and soy exports with poorer metal-producing regions, where the president's Indigenous base resides. So, what might happen next? The protesters won't go home until Camacho goes free, and meanwhile, the standoff is costing Bolivia millions of dollars in lost agricultural trade.

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US House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) arrives for leadership elections at the Capitol in Washington, DC.
REUTERS/Leah Millis

What We’re Watching: Republican House, Israeli robo-guns, Poland’s back

GOP wins slim House majority

More than a week after the US midterm elections, the Republican Party finally clinched its 218th seat in the House on Wednesday, giving the GOP a razor-slim majority in the chamber. But with several races still not called, the exact margin remains unclear — the tighter it is, the harder it'll be for Kevin McCarthy, who’s expected to replace Nancy Pelosi as House speaker, to keep his caucus together. A Republican-held House effectively kills the Democrats’ legislative agenda, although retaining control of the Senate will keep extremist proposals away from President Joe Biden's desk and allow him to appoint federal judges. For the GOP, it's an opportunity to launch investigations on stuff like the origins of COVID, the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the Republicans' favorite target: Biden's own son, Hunter. It might even lead to impeaching the president. On foreign policy, expect the GOP to penny-pinch US aid to Ukraine and make Congress get even tougher on China — perhaps not the best idea after Biden and Xi Jinping decided to cool things down at the G-20 in Bali.

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GZERO Media

Israel, Iran, and the metastasizing war in Ukraine

Wars tend to spread, infecting parts of the world far from the frontlines and the Ukraine conflict is no exception.

The global economic ripple effects of the war in Ukraine – from the world’s sharpest “hunger pains” since World War II to soaring inflation and energy crises – have been clear for months.

The news that Iran has now become deeply involved in Russia’s war effort, by supplying the Kremlin with “suicide drones” for the bombardment of Ukrainian targets, has ricocheted deep into the Middle East, raising tough questions for one state in particular: Israel.

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Firefighters at the site of a Russian missile attack in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine.

State Emergency Service of Ukraine via Reuters Connect

What We’re Watching: G7 stands up to Putin, Israel and Lebanon reach maritime deal, South Korea touts missile shield

The war grinds on

Following another day of sound and fury as Russia fired more missiles into Ukrainian cities on Tuesday, G7 leaders announced “undeterred and steadfast” military and financial support for Ukraine’s defense and warned Vladimir Putin’s government that any Russian use of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons in Ukraine would be met with “severe consequences.” Ukrainian air defenses shot down some of Russia’s missiles on Tuesday, but Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky told G7 leaders that more and better systems were an urgent priority. On Wednesday, Putin is expected to meet with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at a security conference in Kazakhstan, and the Kremlin spokesman told reporters the two leaders might discuss the possibility of peace talks. So, in a week of dramatic images from Ukraine, what has really changed? Ukraine has proven it still has partisans inside Crimea that can inflict real damage on important Russian infrastructure. Putin has demonstrated that he’s willing to satisfy the demands of Russian nationalists to punish Ukrainian civilians, though he says the next steps will continue to be incremental. Russia’s dwindling stockpile of precision-guided missiles, which Western export controls will make hard to replace, dwindled further. And despite pleas for peace from foreign governments, neither Russia nor Ukraine has signaled any credible basis for compromise.

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A man scuffles with the security officials before the result of Kenya's presidential election is announced in Nairobi.

REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

What We’re Watching: Kenyan election jitters, Ukraine hits Wagner, Israel strikes near Russian bases

Kenya's new president is … ?

Deputy President William Ruto won Kenya's presidential election with 50.5% of the vote, the electoral commission declared Monday. Still, the process was very messy: authorities initially delayed the announcement amid clashes at the national counting center and accusations of vote rigging from Ruto's rival Raila Odinga. What’s more, four out of the commission's seven members refused to endorse the result over vague fraud claims. So, what happens now? Odinga, who represents the country’s dynastic politics, might contest the result in court, as he did five years ago, when the Supreme Court found so many logistical errors in the presidential election that it forced a rerun. Also, in 2007 more than 1,200 Kenyans were killed following a similarly disputed vote. (Both Ruto and outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta were then taken before the International Criminal Court for inciting violence, but charges against both were later dropped.) All eyes are now on the 77-year-old Odinga, in his fifth and presumably last run for the presidency. Will he risk more unrest and perhaps violence to win at all costs? Such uncertainty doesn't bode well for East Africa's most vibrant democracy. This election “started off as the most transparent and ends up in farce," tweeted political cartoonist Patrick Gathara.

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