"The differences between Cuba and Iran abound. But take notice. U.S. President Barack Obama’s Cuba initiative should be a clear sign of where he might like to go with Iran on the nuclear issue in coming months," writes Aaron David Miller.
"Iranian President Hasan Rouhani seems to have reached the end of his tether with hard-liners who oppose and obstruct his agenda," writes Haleh Esfandiari.
The political climate in Egypt, a country that accounts for one-quarter of the Arab world’s population, has become increasingly inhospitable to public debate or criticism. What is Egypt afraid of?
The Middle East Program produced 24 publications and 63 meetings and events.
The Iranian judiciary has extended its detention of Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian by as much as two months. Haleh Esfandiari gives three possible reasons for the continued imprisonment of an innocent journalist.
"Gaziantep, a city in southern Turkey some forty miles from the Syrian border, has become a bustling hub at the center of the Middle East’s latest conflict. It’s a destination for spies and refugees, insurgent fighters and rebel leaders, foreign-aid workers and covert jihadists—all enmeshed in Syria’s multisided war," writes Robin Wright.
Despite the failure to secure a deal on Monday, the diplomatic tone between Tehran and Washington has become almost civil, and occasionally even friendly, writes Robin Wright.
"Here are the four faulty (or yet to be realized) assumptions that drove the talented and committed U.S. negotiators to believe that a comprehensive agreement was possible," writes Aaron David Miller and Jason Brodsky.
"Western negotiators and Iran had more than a year to reach a comprehensive deal. Despite repeated assertions that Nov. 24 was a firm deadline, it seems that neither side took the date seriously," write Haleh Esfandiari and Robert S. Litwak.
"On the morning I called my mother from my interrogation session to tell her I was being taken to prison, I urged her to be strong. “You be strong,” she replied," writes Haleh Esfandiari.