Globe Trot A summary of international news compiled by senior editor Mindy Belz

Midterms matter to Iranian regime

International | Increased GOP majority in the Senate may make mullahs rethink strategy
by Mindy Belz
Posted 11/07/18, 12:42 pm

IRAN: Results of the U.S. midterm elections were watched most closely perhaps in Tehran, where U.S. President Donald Trump’s rollback on the nuclear deal and reinstatement of sanctions again stress the Islamic regime. Republicans emerging with a larger majority in the U.S. Senate—where foreign policy most readily may be challenged—force the ruling mullahs to rethink their strategy, reports Amir Taheri. On Tuesday, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, took to YouTube to blast (in English) “draconian, illegal” U.S. sanctions.

An estimated 12 Christian converts are in prison in Iran, the latest being two who were sentenced to 10 years last month for “spreading propaganda against the regime.”

CAMEROON: Militant separatists released 79 students kidnapped from a Presbyterian boarding school near where an American missionary was shot to death last week. Two of three staff members abducted by armed separatists in the attack are still being held, and the school of 700 students is being closed due to security threats.

PAKISTAN: Italy said it will help Asia Bibi gain asylum, as authorities in Pakistan move to further block her from leaving the country. There is “no new ground” for reviewing the Supreme Court decision Oct. 31 acquitting Bibi, said her lawyer from exile in the Netherlands.

GREECE: Authorities will remove about 10,000 priests and other Greek Orthodox Church employees from the state payroll, as part of a wider agreement to separate the church from the government.

TURKEY: Observers are asking whether Istanbul’s new airport is a much-needed new hub or a vanity project by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a failing economy. The airport, which opened late last month, is billed to become the largest in the world. It sits on Istanbul’s European side in historic Arnavutkoy, a neighborhood inhabited for centuries by Albanians, Greeks, Jews and Turks—and home to Robert College, established by Christian missionaries and the oldest American school outside the United States.

To have Globe Trot delivered to your email inbox, email Mindy at

Mindy Belz

Mindy is senior editor of WORLD Magazine and the author of They Say We Are Infidels. Follow Mindy on Twitter @mcbelz.

Read more from this writer