Middle East and North Africa News

Why U.S. Allies Saudi Arabia and Israel Are Looking Beyond Obama

May 01, 2015
"As the administration looks more and more toward Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia will look beyond Barack Obama--biding their time, furthering their own agendas, and hoping that the next president, regardless of party, will see Tehran in a different light," writes Aaron David Miller.

Is Bashar al-Assad Finished, for Real, This Time, Again?

May 01, 2015
Is Bashar al-Assad on his way out? Aaron David Miller interviews the University of Oklahoma’s Joshua Landis and the Atlantic Council’s Fred Hof (formerly Obama’s special advisor for the Syrian transition), two of the finest analysts of Syrian politics.

The Saudi Royal Family Shakeup

Apr 30, 2015
"The House of Saud, one of the world’s largest and richest royal families, experienced a quiet coup within its ranks shortly before dawn on Wednesday.... The shakeup, which concentrates power in a conservative wing of the vast royal family, could shape policy in the world’s largest oil exporter for decades," writes Robin Wright.

Iran Hard-Liners’ Newest Obsession: Cohabitation

Apr 29, 2015
"There is a yawning gap between many Iranians’ lives, or the lives they aspire to live, and the 'Islamic' norm some authorities insist prevails in society," writes Haleh Esfandiari.

Richard Perle on the Effectiveness of U.S. Sanctions

Apr 28, 2015
A veteran foreign policy practitioner and analyst, Richard Perle, provides insight into the history and current application of sanctions as a tool of U.S.statecraft. Do they work? What are the conditions necessary to make them effective? And are we getting it right in the cases of Iran and Russia? These are just some of the questions addressed in this episode of CONTEXT.

Assessing the Effectiveness of U.S. Sanctions

Apr 28, 2015
In this NOW interview, William Pomeranz and Meg Lundsager discuss the impact, effectiveness, and consequences of U.S. sanctions past and present.

What Will, and Won’t, Help Free Jason Rezaian From Prison in Iran

Apr 24, 2015
"Tying the nuclear negotiations—and success now seems within reach—to prisoner release will only play into the hands of Iran’s hard-liners," writes Haleh Esfandiari.

Four Ways Congress Can Improve the Iran Nuclear Deal

Apr 21, 2015
"The last thing the United States needs is 535 legislators micromanaging its Iran policy. But having worked at the State Department for more than two decades, I know I don’t want Foggy Bottom controlling a 10- to 15-year deal with Iran. Here are four ways Congress could play a credible role on the Iran deal," writes Aaron David Miller

Where Have All the Arab States Gone?

Apr 16, 2015
Why don’t (or can’t) the Arabs take more responsibility for the problems that affect their region?It’s their neighborhood, after all.

The Iran Deal Is Good–for the Mullahs

Apr 10, 2015
"Barack Obama wanted to avoid being the U.S. president who presides over Iran getting the bomb. Iran wanted sanctions relief and validation of its nuclear program. Both sides made concessions, and a crisis appears to have been averted, at least in the short term. But what we know now suggests that the mullahs got the better end of the deal" writes Aaron David Miller.