Iraq And Regional Responses

How Iraq’s neighbors look at the new crisis in their midst. The region weighs in on Iraq.

Germawa camp for displaced Iraqis, in a hot dusty plain in the largely-autonomous Kurdish area of Dahuk, 260 miles northwest of Baghdad. (AP)

Germawa camp for displaced Iraqis, in a hot dusty plain in the largely-autonomous Kurdish area of Dahuk, 260 miles northwest of Baghdad. (AP)

US Secretary of State John Kerry, zooming into Baghdad today after strongly hinting in Cairo yesterday that Iraqi leader Nouri al-Maliki needs to go. Flying in from Amman, as ISIS militants took Iraq’s main border post with Jordan. Flying on to meet with more Arab leaders about the crisis. Almost every player in the Mideast and larger region has a sharp interest in what emerges from the stunning blow-up in Iraq. Some could crank it up. Some might crank it down. This hour On Point: we go to Turkey, the Gulf states, Saudi Arabia and Iran – on the blow-up in Iraq.

– Tom Ashbrook


Mohammad Marandi,  Iranian political scientist. Professor at the University of Tehran’s Institute for North American and European Studies.

Soli Ӧzel, Professor of International Relations and Political Science at Kadir Has University. Foreign news editor and columnist for the Gazete Habertürk, a large daily newspaper in Turkey.

Siraj Wahab, Senior Editor at Arab News, a leading English news site in Saudi Arabia. (@sirajwahab)

Shadi Hamid, fellow at the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy. Author of the new book, “Temptations of Power: Islamists & Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East.”  (@shadihamid)

Also: Egypt Update

In Egypt, three Al Jazeera journalists were jailed for seven years in a case that has raised questions about the country’s respect for media freedom.


Louise Loveluck, correspondent for Christian Science Monitor in Cairo. (@leloveluck)

From Tom’s Reading List

Middle East Eye: Turkey vulnerable amid crisis in Iraq – For Turkey, the ISIL offensive and the taking of 80 hostages, indicates a growing insurgency that could potentially disrupt its stability and impact domestic politics ahead of the presidential election in August.

The Guardian: Saudi Arabia rejects Iraqi accusations of Isis support – The fear in Saudi Arabia is of an Afghan-style “blowback” of returning jihadis.

Al Jazeera: Why is Iraq so important to Iran? – Iraq is hugely important to Iran. The majority of Iraq’s population are Shia Muslim, as is Iran. Iraq is also home to the holy cities of Najaf and Kerbala, and to the Askari shrine. These sites are important to all Muslims, but for the Islamic Republic of Iran they represent the very heart of Shia history.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Nov 30, 2015
United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres, center left, Minister of the Environment of Peru and COP20 President Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, center right, and French Foreign Affairs Minister and COP 21 President Laurent Fabius, center, pose for photographers during a press visit to the COP21, Paris Climate Conference, site, in Le Bourget, north of Paris, France, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

World leaders converge in Paris for the big climate talks. We’ll look at what it will take to get a global climate agreement.

Nov 30, 2015
Shoppers walks in front of a holiday display Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, in San Francisco.(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

From Black Friday to Cyber Monday and beyond, we’ll add up the dollars and trends and bargains of the 2015 holiday shopping season.

Nov 27, 2015
The punk rock band Sleater-Kinney (from L: Janet Weiss, Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker) (Courtesy the Band)

Feminist punk-rockers, the band Sleater-Kinney, is with us. Reunited. Hotter than ever.

Nov 27, 2015
Josh Baldonado, an administrative assistant at Brown & Brown Insurance, works at a treadmill desk in the firms offices in Carmel, Ind., Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013. (AP)

The end of sitting at work. A new call to get up off our chairs. To stand and move! We’ll look at how that works.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Fresh Ideas For Your Thanksgiving: Recipes
Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015

Did our Thanksgiving 2016 episode make you hungry? Good news — we’ve got recipes right here.

More »
Karl Rove Still Won’t Get Involved In The 2016 G.O.P. Primary
Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015

Karl Rove may say he’s not endorsing or getting involved in the 2016 G.O.P. presidential primary, but that won’t stop from offering advice on how to beat Republican front runner Donald Trump.

More »
Roger Cohen And Barry Posen On ISIS
Monday, Nov 23, 2015

A brief, but illustrative exchange between Barry Posen and Roger Cohen during our conversation on ISIS today.

More »