Iran Standoff Goes Global

As the European Union discusses an embargo against Iranian oil, the US has sanctioned its central bank. The US is also asking for Chinese assistance in stopping Iran's nuclear program.

What's the Latest Development?


The standoff over Iran's nuclear program is heating up, drawing major powers to the negotiating table in a attempt stop the creation of a new nuclear state while averting war. Iran's disclosure of another plutonium enrichment facility coincided with the European Union's decision to negotiate an Iranian oil embargo among its member countries. The US now has the power to sanction businesses and governments that deal with Iran's central bank. Currently, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is in Asia, asking China to help stop Iran.  

What's the Big Idea?

The increasing number of variables in the conflict over Iran's nuclear program is making the situation extremely delicate. An oil embargo including western allies like Japan and South Korea could cut off half of Iran's oil revenue, reducing government revenue by about a quarter. Iran has talked big when it comes to US military presence in the region and any Israeli strikes could unite Iran's population, which is currently at odds with its president, against outside forces. Turkey may emerge as the country most capable of securing a concession from Iran.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

This is the best (and simplest) world map of religions

Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.

(c) CLO / Carrie Osgood
Strange Maps
  • At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
  • See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
  • There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
Keep reading Show less

New alternative to Trump's wall would create jobs, renewable energy, and increase border security

A consortium of scientists and engineers have proposed that the U.S. and Mexico build a series of guarded solar, wind, natural gas and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border.

Credit: Purdue University photo/Jorge Castillo Quiñones
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The proposal was recently presented to several U.S. members of Congress.
  • The plan still calls for border security, considering all of the facilities along the border would be guarded and connected by physical barriers.
  • It's undoubtedly an expensive and complicated proposal, but the team argues that border regions are ideal spots for wind and solar energy, and that they could use the jobs and fresh water the energy park would create.
Keep reading Show less
Image source: Topical Press Agency / Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Though we know today that his policies eventually ended the Great Depression, FDR's election was seen as disastrous by some.
  • A group of wealthy bankers decided to take things into their own hands; they plotted a coup against FDR, hoping to install a fascist dictator in its stead.
  • Ultimately, the coup was brought to light by General Smedley Butler and squashed before it could get off the ground.
Keep reading Show less