At U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s side when he negotiated a framework nuclear deal with Iranian diplomats this spring was physicist Ernest Moniz, U.S. secretary of energy. His presence spoke to the rise of “science diplomacy,” which can take the form of scientists helping diplomats, diplomats helping scientists, or scientific cooperation promoting diplomacy. The Iran case is the most vivid recent example of the first form.
Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. WikiLeaks has not revealed its source, but a group calling itself the "Yemen cyber army" has claimed it hacked government servers.
In one of the most conservative and secretive kingdoms on Earth, the leak of thousands of confidential diplomatic cables has caused shockwaves in Riyadh.
Pakistan and Iran share a common border and some of the same challenges as well. In recent years, there have been a number of impediments to the relationship between the two states, most of them engendered by America’s antipathy to Iran and the regime of sanctions against it deployed by the US. Those sanctions have a spillover effect on Pakistan as it may find itself the subject of American sanctions if it is seen to breach those imposed by the US — a potent threat. It has already blighted the proposed gas pipeline between the two countries.
American wrestler Jacob Curby died before he could fulfill his dream of competing in the Olympics. But a competition established in his name will mark another milestone in the accelerating sports diplomacy between Iran and the United States.