* Surge of Shiite militia attacks in store for US forces in Iraq, possibly Israel too Iran's leaders are not likely to be deterred by US President Donald Trump's warning on Dec. 31 that Tehran would be held responsible for attacks on US forces in Iraq and the storming of the US embassy in Baghdad.
* President Rouhani Defiant: Iran Never Bows to Superpowers Iran is ready for talks with the world but will never "bow to the pressures exerted by the superpowers, specially the U.S.," President Hassan Rouhani said Thursday.
* Iran Can No Longer Rely on Shia Militias to Fight its Wars The President's robust response to the recent upsurge in Iranian-sponsored violence in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East certainly appears at odds with the perception that he has no interest in conducting military operations in the Middle East, and that his main objective is to reduce Washington's military presence in the region ahead of this year's presidential election contest.
* Iranian Diplomat Meets Syrian President Assad in Damascus Iranian Foreign Minister's Senior Assistant in Special Political Affairs Ali-Asghar Khaji held a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Tuesday.
* Israel-Iran conflict to be major Middle East issue in 2020 Neither Iran or Israel may seek war. But a diplomatic breakdown after the US pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, strategic errors and a military buildup make a direct conflict - even an inadvertent one - more likely.
* Israel Could Be Key to 2020 Middle East Geopolitics Israel's geographical position means it must stay agile and manage complex relations with its Muslim neighbors through quiet collaboration and smart use of its technological and economic advantages.
* Only a China-Russia alliance could revive a 'brain-dead' Nato. But with that unlikely, the transatlantic alliance may be on its last legs Nato's fatal problem is it has no real enemy, with Russia a spent force and terrorism a vaguely defined threat.
* Putin vs EU: Why Erdogan row hands Moscow initiative in Brussels feud Vladimir Putin has been unrelenting in his quest for dominance over resources such as oil and gas across the globe.
* China, Iran should stand together against 'unilateralism and bullying', Wang Yi says Chinese foreign minister tells Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif that US withdrawal from nuclear pact, sanctions 'sources of current tension'.
* The Top Five Challenges For Europe In 2020 2020 will be a big year for Europe with a fresh-faced Commission and one of its key members exiting the bloc.