• 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.

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Iraq will Remain a US-Iran Point of Contention

    The United States’ more belligerent position toward Iran, in the wake of the Trump Administration’s recent withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, is likely to …

  • Viewpoint
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Crack in the Russian-Iranian Alliance in Syria?

    May 23, 2018Joe Macaron

    In a rare instance since the Russian intervention in Syria in September 2015, the policy differences between Moscow and Tehran have become public. This raised …

  • Viewpoint
    IranEnergy and Economics

    Pompeo Peddles Disaster for American Interests

    May 22, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Another spectacle of a confused American foreign policy was on display on May 21, 2018 at the Heritage Foundation, where Secretary of State Mike Pompeo deliver…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    Time for Deal-Making after Iraq’s Elections

    May 22, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    Iraqis have rewarded Moqtada al-Sadr’s ability to move beyond sectarian divisions and project a strong anti-corruption message that is hoped to steer Iraq in a…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Saudi-Iranian Conflict in an Age of Sectarianization

    May 15, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    Doctrinal sectarian and strategic reasons underlie the ongoing cold conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran. As the Trump Administration pushes its more confron…

  • Viewpoint
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Dangerous Israeli-Iranian Escalation in Syria

    May 11, 2018Joe Macaron

    In the most dangerous escalation since the establishment of the Golan Heights ceasefire line in 1973, Israel and Iran exchanged fire in southwestern Syria unde…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    The Many Challenges of Iraq’s Upcoming Elections

    Transcending ethnic and sectarian divisions could be one of the most significant outcomes of the upcoming Iraqi elections that can transform the currently divi…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Super-Hawks on Iran May Make the US the Biggest Loser

    Apr 10, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    The super-hawks President Trump appointed in his administration may very well get the United States into a conflagration with Iran despite international satisf…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Who is John Bolton? A Political Profile of the Next National Security Advisor

    Mar 23, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    With the appointment of John Bolton as national security advisor, the United States risks turning the National Security Council into an echo chamber of hyper-n…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Can Iran’s Minorities Be Used against the Regime?

    Feb 9, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    The heightened tension and antagonistic discourse between Saudi Arabia and Iran help Tehran legitimize its security policies in the country and to “alert” its …

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptUS Foreign Policy

    The Middle East Nuclear Picture: Peaceful Programs or Not, Cause for Concern

    Feb 2, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    Focusing solely on the Iranian nuclear program has made Washington oblivious to some significant nuclear developments in other parts of the Middle East.

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    Regime Unity Will Decide the Fate of Iran’s Protests

    Jan 4, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Iranian protesters’ slogans and demands indicate that there is much angst and frustration with the slow pace of political reform, the glacial movement of econo…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranSecurity and Defense

    The Art of (Decertifying) the Deal: Trump’s Iran Strategy and the Nuclear Agreement’s Future

    Oct 17, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    The president’s decertifying the Iran nuclear deal does not terminate US participation in the JCPOA but opens the door to such a move, roils US relations with …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranInternational Law

    Trump’s United Nations Speech: More of the Same

    Sep 20, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    President Trump’s speech before the UN mixed isolationism and economic nationalism with calls for international consensus building, two irreconcilable position…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    The Popular Mobilization Forces and Iraq’s Next Elections

    Sep 6, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Multiple Shia parties are competing to benefit from the successes of the Popular Mobilization Forces in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq’s 2018 nati…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Is the Turkey-Iran Rapprochement Durable in Iraq and Syria?

    Aug 24, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Given the historical nature of the Turkish-Iranian rivalry, a durable rapprochement between Turkey and Iran requires assurances about the future of the Kurds a…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Emboldened Kurdish Aspirations in Iran: Where Are They Headed?

    Jun 5, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    An independent Kurdistan contiguous to the Iranian Kurdish region may trigger hawkish regime elements in Tehran—especially in the case of unresolved territoria…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A US-Iran Race to Control the Damascus-Baghdad Highway

    May 31, 2017Joe Macaron

    Securing the Damascus-Baghdad highway and deterring Iran’s regional activities might lead to a direct US involvement in the Syrian war.

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    Challenges Facing Iran’s Presidential Contenders

    May 9, 2017Imad K. Harb

    Iran’s presidential candidates are acutely aware that if elected, they would have to hew to the wishes and ultimate desires of the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Trump Ponders Renewing America’s Longest War in Afghanistan

    Apr 26, 2017Joe Macaron

    The Pentagon has in recent weeks flexed its muscles in Afghanistan but the US continues to navigate a difficult environment in that country as the Taliban rema…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Next Challenge for Trump: The Islamic Republic of Iran

    Apr 24, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    As the new administration of President Donald J. Trump struggles to find its foreign policy footing, with early tests emerging in the Middle East, Asia, Europe…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Deterring Iran in Yemen: Will the United States Join the Hodeida Operation?

    Apr 19, 2017Joe Macaron

    The United States debates whether it wants to assist in evicting the Houthis out of Yemen's Hodeida.

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Genocide in Mosul: The Repercussions of Targeting Civilians

    There have been widespread allegations that the destruction of Mosul, the major Sunni Iraqi city after Baghdad, is the aim of the Iranian-backed Shiite militia…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    Syria Peace Talks in Geneva: A Road to Nowhere

    Mar 27, 2017Radwan Ziadeh

    On March 3, 2017, the United Nations’ Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, concluded the last round of Syria peace negotiations in Geneva by saying tha…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Obstacles to President Trump’s Options on Iran

    Mar 14, 2017Imad K. Harb

    Almost two months into his presidency, Donald Trump has charted a clear path to tense relations between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Thi…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Turkey-Iran Relations: A Sectarian Future?

    Mar 8, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    The Syrian war and ensuing crisis in Iraq have put Turkey and Iran in an unprecedented sectarian rivalry. Competition over Iraqi Kurdistan will be a major test…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Iran and Trump’s Strategy in the Gulf Region: What’s Next?

    Iran’s recent launch of a medium range ballistic missile played to the Trump Administration’s expectations of Iranian behavior regarding strategic weaponry in …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    General Mattis and Iraq: Motivations and Apprehensions

    The appointment of retired US General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense comes during cautious times for both Iraqis and Americans. The Iraqis are anticipati…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Rafsanjani’s Death and Its Impact on Iran’s Political Bazaar

    Jan 9, 2017Imad K. Harb

    The death of former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani comes at a critical time in the Islamic Republic’s political history. As one of the founders…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    After Aleppo: The Political and Regional Implications of the New Middle East “Troika”

    Dec 28, 2016Joe Macaron

    Since August 2016, new regional power dynamics have been emerging in the wars in Syria. The trend has manifested itself in the fall of Aleppo and the December …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Sidelining Asad: Questioning the Future of Russian-Iranian-Turkish Convergence in Syria

    Dec 27, 2016Imad K. Harb

    The battle of Aleppo has finally been decided in favor of the Syrian regime and its Russian, Iranian, and militia cohorts. But for all intents and purposes, th…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The GCC at 35: Regional Concerns and Strategic Hedging

    Dec 15, 2016Imad K. Harb

    Last week, the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) concluded its 37th summit meeting in Manama, Bahrain, amid many hopeful pronouncements as well as atte…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    November 8: What’s at stake for the Arab world?

    Nov 7, 2016Joe Macaron

    What motivates the Arab world’s interest in the 2016 US presidential election is primarily the concern about Washington’s role in the Middle East as well as th…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Hezbollah, Iran, and the Politics of Obstructionism

    Sep 23, 2016Imad K. Harb

    On September 7, Lebanon’s Parliament failed for the forty-third time to convene a session to elect a president. Since the expiration of former president Michel…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranReligion and Politics

    Battle over Fallujah Tests US-Iran Tacit Deal against ISIL

    Jun 3, 2016Joe Macaron

     As Major General Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s al-Quds Force, was reportedly spotted in the northern outskirts of the besieged city of Fallujah, …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Wanted: A US Strategy in the Middle East

    Apr 11, 2016Yousef Munayyer

    In 2006, as Israel and Hezbollah were engaged in what would be a 34­day war, the longest of any Arab­Israeli war since 1948, US Secretary of State Condoleezza …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranSecurity and Defense

    The Emergence of a New Triangular Relationship in the Middle East

    Jan 29, 2016Joe Macaron

    The implementation of the Iran nuclear deal on January 16 reinforced the emergence of a new triangular relationship in the Middle East involving the United Sta…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The Iran Nuclear Deal and its Implications for the Region

    Jul 31, 2015Yousef Munayyer

    The agreement reached by the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK, and the US), the EU and the Islamic Republic of Iran over the latter’s nuclear progr…