Rare Earth Elements update – November/December 2010

Author: Sean Wolfgang

Rare Earth Elements have continued to gain prominence since the September 2010 halting of shipments from China to Japan over an incident near the mutually claimed Senkaku/Diaouyu Islands. But the incident that brought REE to prominence was followed by the stoppage of REE to the US and Europe amid confusion (both international and in China) over new Chinese export quotas. We are now beginning to see how the US and other countries are responding. A changing market and the economic and defense consequences of higher prices and less Chinese imports have produced a range of short and long-term responses.

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The Question of Iran: Stability and the Future of the Revolution

Author: Michael Flickinger

Iran endures as the last functional theocracy in the world, steeped in a history rich with conquest, subjugation, and cultural innovations.  Popular conceptions of Iran stir images of the 1979 Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, seizure of the American embassy, and murals in Tehran depicting America as “the Great Satan.”  More recent portrayals, however, offer what some speculate might be a crack in the impenetrable regime that has ruled Iran since the Revolution.  Pictures of men and women adorned in green to support Mir Hossein Mosavi, leader of the Reformists and the Green Movement, chanting, “Death to the dictator” mingle with footage of Neda Agha-Soltan bleeding to death, while Basij militiamen on motorcycles beat protestors.  In the span of three decades, violence once again erupted within Iran and protestors railed against the current regime with a fervor similar to Khomeini’s followers against the shah.  For those who favor a less opaque and more cooperative Iran, these events raised the hope that change looms on the horizon.  But does it?
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