• 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    President Biden Faces a Washington Divided over Iran

    Although President Joe Biden has expressed an interest in reorienting US foreign policy away from the Middle East, Iran continues to be an issue that his admin…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Washington Policy Weekly

    Mar 26, 2020Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery reports on Republican senators’ drive to withdraw US troops from Saudi Arabia over the oil price plunge; the State Department’s push to relea…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Washington Braces for Fallout from Operation That Killed Qassem Soleimani

    After the United States assassinated Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, Washington has been bracing for retaliation by Iran while considering calls for de-escalati…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Congress Eyes Sanctions after Turkey’s Incursion into Syria

    Oct 17, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery discusses how the US Congress aims to levy even harsher sanctions to force Turkey to cease its operation and withdraw from northeastern Syria…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    New Report Illustrates Folly of US Syria Policy

    Sep 25, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    A Congress-mandated Syria Study Group recommends that the United States buys time in Syria while pressure builds on President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, with th…

  • 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.

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranInternational Law

    Is Congress Prepared to Respond to Netanyahu’s Annexation Plans?

    Sep 12, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    In a speech on September 10, Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to annex part of the occupied West Bank in an effort to turn out support for his Likud Party in the run…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Congress’s Post-Recess Middle East Priorities

    As Congress reconvenes after its August recess, groups of lawmakers will put forward initiatives to end the war in Yemen, buttress US-Israel relations, and inc…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    The United States’ Confused Iran Policy

    Marcus Montgomery disputes the Trump Administration’s repeated assertion that its “maximum pressure campaign” will bring Iran to the negotiating table and ques…

  • 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 …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Congress Deliberates US-Iraq Relations

    Jul 17, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery discusses Congress’s deliberations with the Trump Administration about US-Iraqi relations. One of the important considerations is whether Was…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranProtests and Activism

    Republicans Define What It Means to Be Pro-Israel

    Jul 10, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    The definition of “standing with Israel,” one held by high profile Republican officials and members of Congress who spoke at the Christians United for Israel a…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    BahrainRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Congress Has Been Deafeningly Quiet on the Bahrain Meeting

    since Jared Kushner convened his economic workshop in Bahrain last month, nearly every prominent member of Congress has been silent on the plan, signaling skep…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    How Congress Is Trying to Prevent Another Middle East War

    Jun 26, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    With tensions escalating between the United States and Iran, Congress is trying to reassert its own war powers to prevent the Trump Administration from startin…

  • 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.

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Would Trump Really Go to War with Iran?

    Jun 19, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    With multiple miscalculations and missteps that could develop, should we be worried about another war in the Middle East?

  • 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 …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    Is Bernie Sanders the Best American Hope for Palestine?

    Senator Bernie Sanders dispatched his advisor to Ramallah last week to speak with the PLO, eliciting support from the pro-Palestine camp. Is Sanders a true all…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    While Trump Sides with Haftar, the Rest of Washington Is Unsure

    May 22, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    While President Trump has sided with General Khalifa Haftar, many in Washington are skeptical of the would-be strongman and seek a political solution to the fi…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Congress and White House Have Rival Plans for the Gulf

    May 15, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    Many Arab Gulf states have enjoyed unwavering support from the Trump Administration in their confrontations with Iran, but Congress has other ideas, including …

  • 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 …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    This Week in Washington: Trump’s “Deal of the Century”

    President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is tasked with achieving what has been an unobtainable peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinian…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    What Does Trump Want for the Middle East?

    The Trump Administration wants to defeat the Islamic State and push back against Iran, but it has no serious strategy for either. This makes President Trump’s …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Fallout from Trump’s Iran Strategy

    Apr 24, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    Feeling emboldened by the Trump Administration’s maximum pressure campaign on Iran, some Arab Gulf states look to intensify proxy battles with the Islamic Repu…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    EgyptSecurity and Defense

    In Washington, the IRGC Is Now Like IS

    Apr 10, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    President Trump took the unprecedented step of listing the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization. A lack of specifics on how to enforce sanctions means that…

  • 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…