• Policy Analysis
    LebanonIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Hezbollah Mirrors a Weak State and a Turbulent Region

    Apr 13, 2022Nabeel Khoury

    In the eyes of an observant analyst, “While it is customary to characterize Hezbollah as a ‘state within a state,’ it is more accurate now to define it as a ‘s…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Israel-Iran Shadow War in Syria intensifies Amid International Developments

    The ongoing military conflict between Israel and Iran (along with Iran-backed Shia forces like Hezbollah) in Syria show no signs of easing despite the Russia-U…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Iran and Israel Deal with the Rampaging Russian Bear

    Mar 16, 2022Daniel Brumberg

    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has produced some unusual bedfellows, the strangest of whom are Iran and Israel. Perhaps the term “bedfellows” is an exaggeration,…

  • Policy Analysis
    TurkeyRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Turkey’s Evolving Policy toward Iran

    Feb 16, 2022Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoğlu’s official call to his Israeli counterpart was a rarity since the Erdoğan-Peres confrontation in Davos in January 200…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Ukraine’s Geostrategic Tremors Reach into the Middle East

    Jan 13, 2022Daniel Brumberg

    Daniel Brumberg disentangles the complications arising from the current tensions between Ukraine and Russia and their impact on US-Russian relations as well as…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq’s Post-Election Government Formation: Political Deadlock

    Dec 28, 2021Zeidon Alkinani

    Major changes to the Iraqi political scene are awaiting the formation of a new government following the results of the early parliamentary election that took p…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    High Stakes at the Vienna Nuclear Talks with Iran

    Dec 8, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    The ongoing indirect US-Iran negotiations in Vienna on the future of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) have thus far made little progress. Already…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The Limits of Saudi-Iranian Détente

    Oct 29, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    During his years in the Nixon White House in the 1970s, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger sought to manage the US-Soviet rivalry by creating arenas of …

  • Policy Analysis
    YemenUS Foreign Policy

    Biden’s Yemen Conundrum

    Oct 5, 2021Nabeel Khoury

    US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan traveled to Riyadh on September 27 and was accompanied by US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking. The visit highl…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    A New Strategic Architecture Is Emerging in the Gulf

    Sep 24, 2021Imad K. Harb

    As the Gulf crisis of 2017 recedes into memory, following the reconciliation in January at the “solidarity and stability” summit in Saudi Arabia’s al-Ula on th…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Iran’s Hard-liners Pursue a Complex Resistance Strategy

    Sep 23, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    While the election of Ebrahim Raisi to the Iranian presidency and the appointment of Hossein Amir-Abdollahian as foreign minister signal a clear victory for th…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    A Saudi-Iranian Rapprochement Still Has a Long Way to Go

    Talks in Baghdad between officials of Saudi Arabia and Iran, which have been held periodically since April, have fueled speculation that these two regional pow…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Iran Prepares for a New “Great Game” in Afghanistan

    Sep 2, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    Until the horrific August 26 attack outside Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, Iran’s bottom line on a new Afghan political order was in fact similar …

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonEnergy and Economics

    Lebanon’s Energy Crisis Fuels US-Iran Tensions

    Aug 25, 2021Joe Macaron

    In the midst of an economic collapse and an energy crisis, Lebanon has found itself in a tug of war between the United States and Iran. On August 19, Hezbollah…

  • Viewpoint
    Iraq

    Iran’s Presidential Election as Viewed in Iraq

    All political developments in Iran have serious repercussions in Iraq, and the election of Ibrahim Raisi as president of the Islamic Republic is no different. …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Raisi’s Election Creates Opportunities and Pitfalls for Iran’s Islamic Republic

    Jun 25, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    In the weeks leading up to Iran’s June 18 presidential elections, one joke making the rounds was that Ebrahim Raisi, then a candidate and now the winner, was r…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Iran Plays a Diplomatically Cautious (and Smart) Game on Gaza

    May 22, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    It’s not every day that Hamas leaders openly plead for Tehran’s support. But this is apparently  what happened when, as the battle between Gaza’s militant grou…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    The Israeli Factor in the US-Iran Nuclear Talks

    May 6, 2021Joe Macaron

    As US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was visiting Israel on April 11, Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency orchestrated a mysterious explosion in Iran’s Natanz …

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelUS Foreign Policy

    Will the Natanz Incident Produce Maximum Diplomacy?

    Apr 23, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    Just two days after what appeared to be an Israeli-backed sabotage of Iran’s Natanz enrichment facilities, The Washington Post’s editorial board declared that …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Hard-liners Fight for Iran’s Presidency and Foreign Policy

    Mar 17, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    Former US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, who during the Obama Administration played a pivotal role in negotiating the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, recently asserted…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    The US and Iran: From Brinkmanship to Negotiations?

    Feb 25, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    In his far-ranging February 21 interview with Iran’s Press TV, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reiterated a bottom line: that Iran would step awa…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfUS Foreign Policy

    Biden will Contend with Divergent Middle East Preferences on Iran

    Jan 27, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    The Middle East is experiencing a period of diplomatic and strategic readjustment that will create both challenges and opportunities for the Biden Administrati…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Iran between Avenging Soleimani and Engaging Biden

    Jan 27, 2021Joe Macaron

    Two events in January serve as reminders of how US-Iran dynamics are pulled in two different directions: the inauguration of President Joe Biden on January 20,…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfUS Foreign Policy

    The Biden Administration’s Foreign Policy: Key Features and Likely Changes

    Jan 6, 2021Unit for Political Studies

    Having won the American presidential election, and despite incumbent President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede, Democratic candidate and President-elect Joe …

  • Viewpoint
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfDemocracy and Governance

    Arab Public Opinion on National Security and Foreign Intervention

    Nov 17, 2020Joe Macaron

    The Arab League celebrated its 75th anniversary this year in the midst of regional politics that have never been more polarized, with continuous foreign interv…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Iran and the World Wait for Biden

    Nov 5, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    Iranian leaders have insisted that the November 3rd US elections would have no real significance for Iran’s basic interests. But such assertions should not be …

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    After the Beirut Blast: Hezbollah and Iran Walk a Tricky Line

    Aug 26, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    Daniel Brumberg argues that Hezbollah and Iran are vested in preserving the current political system in Lebanon whose confessional institutions enable the part…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Iran’s Hard-liners Grapple with the Trap of Securitizing the State

    Jul 13, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    Daniel Brumberg argues that Iran's hard-liners have savored the victory of last February's parliamentary elections and are now preparing for the 2021 president…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfSecurity and Defense

    The Arms Trade in the MENA Region: Drivers and Dangers

    Jun 17, 2020Charles W. Dunne

    Charles W. Dunne argues that international arms sales remain a huge business in the Middle East, making it the most militarized region globally. However, he wr…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfUS Foreign Policy

    US Middle East Policy in Free Fall

    May 28, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    Gulf Arab states have little choice but to rely for their security needs on the Trump Administration despite its feckless policy in the Middle East and poor ca…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Iran Is Running a Custom-Made Strategy in the Levant

    May 18, 2020Joe Macaron

    Although economic pressures are forcing the Iranian regime to cut its losses in the Levant, it would be a mistake for the Trump Administration and its allies t…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Worrisome American Response to Iran in the Gulf

    Abdulwahab Al-Qassab examines the muted US response to Iranian provocations in the Arabian Gulf, surmising that it reflects poorly on the reputation of the Uni…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    The COVID-19 Pandemic Prompts Debate over Iran Sanctions

    Marcus Montgomery details splits in official Washington about how to deal with Iran at this delicate time of the coronavirus outbreak: some want to offer sanct…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    COVID-19 and Iranian-American Relations

    Apr 1, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    As US-Iran relations suffer from continuing political and ideological differences, the coronavirus calamity could provide an opportunity for deescalation and c…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Trump, Congress Lay Out Election Year Foreign Policy Priorities

    Mar 11, 2020Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery discusses how the Trump Administration is pressing forward with its campaign against Iran as many in Congress are trying to constrain the pre…

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Russia Has Limits on Its Influence in the Middle East

    Mar 10, 2020Charles W. Dunne

    Charles W. Dunne argues that despite Russia’s success in Syria and stealthy gains in the Middle East since 2015, the limits on its capabilities have become inc…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    The Uncertain Victory of Iran’s Hardliners

    Feb 26, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    The backing of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei will allow Iran’s conservatives to use their victory in the parliamentary elections to prevent reformists from deman…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The United States and Iran Continue to Maneuver in Iraq

    Gregory Aftandilian contends that after the very tense period of December 2019-January 2020, the United States and Iran are seeking to restore their credibilit…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    What is Congress Willing to Do to Avoid War with Iran?

    This week, the House of Representatives took further decisive steps to try and prevent President Donald Trump from embroiling the United States in another war …

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonUS Foreign Policy

    US, Iran Prolong Détente in Lebanon with a Status Quo Cabinet

    Jan 29, 2020Joe Macaron

    Joe Macaron contends that the new Lebanese government of Hassan Diab is a continuation of the old oligarchic status quo and appears to prolong the US-Iran déte…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Gulf Arab States Still Worried about a US-Iran War

    Gregory Aftandilian argues that Gulf Arab states increasingly view the United States as an unreliable and erratic ally and are urging restraint by Washington a…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Washington’s Strategy in the Post-Soleimani Middle East

    Jan 15, 2020Joe Macaron

    Joe Macaron writes that the post-Soleimani Middle East offers both challenges and opportunities but the Trump Administration does not seem to have a strategy t…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Soleimani’s Assassination Backfires Big Time

    Jan 7, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    Washington’s killing of Qassem Soleimani violates the red lines that the United States and Iran had previously respected in order to avoid escalation, and make…

  • Viewpoint
    IraqUS Foreign Policy

    The Coming American Defeat in Iraq

    Jan 6, 2020Marina Ottaway

    The vote by Iraq’s Parliament to force the withdrawal of American troops from the country marks the beginning of the end of the 2003 US intervention.

  • Viewpoint
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    A Middle East Calamity Is about to Unfold

    Jan 3, 2020Imad K. Harb

    Killing Soleimani has put the Middle East at the edge of a dangerous abyss and hastened an inevitable confrontation between the United States and Iran.

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The United States and Iran Readjust to New Realities in Iraq and Lebanon

    Dec 18, 2019Joe Macaron

    After 15 years of rivalry in Iraq and Lebanon, the United States and Iran are adjusting their policies based on a new reality of popular uprisings that challen…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    Is Iran on the Edge of a Precipice?

    Nov 27, 2019Daniel Brumberg

    Daniel Brumberg questions whether the latest protests in Iran will produce a wider political movement, one that has the support of an urban professional and bu…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    The Limited Utility of the Iran Sanctions

    Nov 4, 2019Kenneth Katzman

    Kenneth Katzman writes that a range of observations and data support the assertion that to date, the Trump Administration’s maximum pressure campaign against I…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Learning to Say “No” To Saudi Arabia on Iran and Yemen

    Sep 25, 2019Daniel Brumberg

    Daniel Brumberg writes that against the background of the White House’s escalating conflict with Tehran, Washington seems unwilling or unable to break its habi…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Attacks on Saudi Oil Installations are a Game Changer

    The latest attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil installations are a game changer in Saudi domestic politics and in regional and international affairs.

  • Policy Analysis
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Is an American-Iranian Dialogue Coming?

    Sep 4, 2019Daniel Brumberg

    Daniel Brumberg writes that with increasing tensions in the Middle East and the strengthening position of Iranian hard-liners, Rouhani and Zarif might have mor…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Targeting Iran on Multiple Fronts: Israeli Calculations

    Aug 29, 2019Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)

    The recent Israeli attacks in three Arab countries are not expected to lead to a major confrontation, at least at this time

  • Viewpoint
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Iraq Enters the Israel-Iran Proxy War

    Israeli strikes against the Popular Mobilization Units in Iraq may have created another battleground in the proxy war between Israel and the Islamic Republic o…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Hamas Plans a Comeback to Damascus: US and Regional Implications

    Jul 31, 2019Joe Macaron

    Hamas is looking to realign itself with Syria as the Trump Administration floats ideas about Palestinian-Israeli peace; however, it appears that the Syrian reg…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Trump’s Sanctions on Hezbollah Threaten Lebanon’s Stability

    Jul 30, 2019Nabeel A. Khoury

    Current conditions in the Middle East and American sanctions against Hezbollah could upset the delicate balance of power in Lebanon and potentially lead to an …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    The Symbolism behind the Latest US Sanctions against Hezbollah

    Jul 17, 2019Joe Macaron

    The latest US sanctions against Hezbollah--and their impact on domestic Lebanese politics--are largely symbolic. In reality, the Trump Administration may have …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Hard Choices Facing Tehran and Washington

    Jul 10, 2019Daniel Brumberg

    If the Trump Administration decides to adhere to a strategy of pushing for regime change in Tehran, Iran’s leaders might eventually embrace a fraught nucleariz…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Iran: How Trump is Emboldening the Hawks and Hardliners

    Jun 25, 2019Imad K. Harb

    US hawks, their Gulf allies and Israel will see Trump's preference for avoiding military confrontation as capitulation.

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Iraq’s Militias and the US-Iran Impasse

    The Iraqi government has a difficult time managing its mutual relations with Iran and the United States because of the influence of Iran-supported militias in …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranInternational Law

    On the Lebanese-Israeli Border, US and Iran Are Negotiating

    Jun 5, 2019Joe Macaron

    A breakthrough in Beirut is helping American mediation in the land and maritime border dispute between Lebanon and Israel, but many obstacles still prevent a q…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranThe GCC

    Arab Leaders Trying to Decipher US Iran Policy

    May 30, 2019Daniel Brumberg

    The Trump Administration’s contradictory statements and signals about its approach to Iran are increasing the confusion for GCC states and Iraq as tensions mou…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranThe GCC

    “Maximum Pressure” on Iran Stresses US-Iraq Ties

    May 29, 2019Charles W. Dunne

    The US policy of "maximum pressure" on Iran intensifies pressure on the US-Iraq relationship, too. Baghdad is eager to step out of the fray, and Washington nee…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    A US-Iranian Clash Presents Dangers and Opportunities for Russia

    May 10, 2019Daniel Brumberg

    Russia stands to benefit from the current standoff between the United States and Iran because President Putin has built good relations with all parties, which …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Is War Coming to the Arabian Gulf?

    Given current conditions and the parties’ limitations, the chance of a military confrontation with Iran is remote—although the sharp rhetoric and counter-accus…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Iraq Torn between Iran, the United States, and the Islamic State

    Since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, Iran has implemented policies to ensure its regional influence and control of Iraqi affairs. Recent American isolationi…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Mutually Connected Fronts between Israel and Iran

    Mar 18, 2019Joe Macaron

    Although a direct confrontation between Israel and Iran is improbable at this time, the two countries share three potential war fronts in Lebanon, Syria, and t…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Zarif Throws Down the Gauntlet Carefully

    Mar 12, 2019Daniel Brumberg

    By threatening to resign, Zarif made it clear that he would continue his international engagement efforts and, in so doing, defend the place and legitimacy of …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    The Iranian Revolution at 40: The Politics of Supreme Leader Succession

    Feb 26, 2019Daniel Brumberg

    As Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei advances in age, he must be careful about how his actions domestically and internationally will affect the inevitable succession…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Will an Anti-Iran Military Alliance Be Formed in 2019?

    The administration’s “Arab NATO” proposal to confront Iran is unlikely to succeed because of Trump’s serious credibility deficit and disunity in the GCC.

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Iran’s Hardliners and Reformists and the Syria Gambit

    Dec 27, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    Iranian hardliners have tried to isolate reformists by asserting that in times of growing security threats, all political forces must unite behind the drive fo…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    US Economic Warfare and Iran’s Politics of Muddling Through

    Nov 30, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    If the Trump Administration and its Middle East allies are counting on capitulation by Iran’s leaders, they are likely to be disappointed in knowing that these…

  • Viewpoint
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    American Sanctions on Iran Will Seriously Impact Iraq

    While the new set of American sanctions on Iran will undoubtedly have a negative impact on its interactions with the world, the fear is that Iraq will be an un…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Flawed American Sanctions Policy on Iran

    Nov 9, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    The capacity of the United States and its regional friends to affect the Middle East’s geostrategic map could diminish further as flaws in the American strateg…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Iraq’s Changing Political Landscape: The Beginning of a New Era?

    Electing a new president and choosing a new prime minister may provide some hope for positive changes in Iraq’s current political conditions.

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Complications of the Houthis’ Role in the Red Sea

    The Houthis’ attack on two Saudi Arabian tankers near the Bab al-Mandab waterway prompts questions about whether they and Iran can disrupt shipping in the Red …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Putin Arbitrates Iran’s Presence in Syria

    Aug 10, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    Rumors of a rocky Russian-Iranian alliance have been greatly exaggerated. Putin as arbiter in Syria will only do what serves Russia’s influence there.

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Dangerous Confusion in US Iran Policy

    Aug 7, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    The latest Trump Iran tweet and announcement revealed a lack of a coherent Iran policy in the wake of the US withdrawal from the JCPOA regulating Iran’s nuclea…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Iran’s Syria Predicament

    Jul 4, 2018Marwan Kabalan

    As Syria's civil war draws to a close, Iran's activity in the country is coming under increasing scrutiny. The US, Israel, and the Gulf states are all working …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Pompeo Digs a Deeper Hole for US Iran Policy

    Jun 5, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    Pompeo's May 21 speech indicates that where Iran is concerned, the US is returning to a policy of "zero enrichment" backed up by economic warfare. But the Whit…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranThe GCC

    How the blockade on Qatar failed

    Jun 5, 2018Marwan Kabalan

    The GCC crisis has inflicted significant financial loss on Qatar, but it has failed to bring it down.