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Is Iran rebuilding the Persian Empire?

Marchers carry pre-Islamic Revolution flags of Iran as they march in the Persian Day Parade in commemoration of Newroz, the Persian New Year,  in New York, April 15, 2012  (Credit:Reuters/Keith Bedford)Is the Islamic Republic of Iran the rising superpower in the Middle East?  If so, why is it relevant to you today?

Iran's military supports Syria's Bashar al-Assad, arguably the only reason he is still in power.  Iran equips Lebanon's Hezbollah party with weapons and financial support.  Iran backs Iraq's Shia-dominated government.  Iran-backed Shia tribes overthrew the government of Yemen last month.  Iran's influence continues to expand in Afghanistan as U.S. military presence retreats.  Bahrain may be next on its agenda.

Why is Iran escalating its military and economic power across the region?

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The elections in Israel: what Christians need to know

An Israeli youth waves a national flag during a rally in the coastal city of Ashkelon showing solidarity with the country's armed forces, June 6, 2010 (Credit: Reuters/Amir Cohen)David Brooks, my favorite New York Times columnist, began his March 20, 2015 essay:

National elections take place within a specific global moment.  In the 1990s, there was a presumption that we were living in an age of rapid progress.  Democracy was spreading.  Tyranny was receding.  Asia was booming.  The European Union was building.  Conflict in the Middle East was lessening.  The world was cumulatively heading toward greater pluralism, individualism, prosperity and freedom.

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The United States and China: it’s complicated

The People's Republic of China flag and the U.S. Stars and Stripes fly along Pennsylvania Avenue near the U.S. Capitol in Washington during Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit, January 18, 2011 (Credit: Reuters/Hyungwon Kang)On Tuesday, the tide turned against the United States when Germany, France, and Italy joined Great Britain by pledging to be founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Pleading with Europe's biggest economies to concentrate their efforts and direct their funds to the already established World Bank, the United States found itself on the losing side of this issue.

China deployed a different strategy in the genesis of this new organization. Instead of going to the consortium of economic powers known as The Group of 7, China approached countries individually to solidify this new venture.

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