Middle East and North Africa Publications
In the wake of President Obama’s reelection, senior Iranian officials close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei are speaking publicly of direct talks with the United States over Iran’s nuclear program. But it remains unclear if Khamenei is ready. His deep suspicions of the United States and reservations regarding the utility of negotiations with Washington remain in place.
Hezbollah’s main strength in Lebanon is not its weaponry. Its real backbone is its popular support, which guarantees Hezbollah’s control over state institutions. Iran may be prepared to lose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but it is certainly not ready to lose Lebanon. Now that Hezbollah’s popular support in Lebanon is waning, Iran will do whatever it takes to overcome the results of Lebanon's parliamentary elections in 2013.
The US intelligence community predicted India’s nuclear bomb in 1964 but mistakenly concluded Israel had “not yet decided” to go nuclear, according to newly declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive and the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project.
Ottaway, who has just visited Cairo, writes about the future U.S.-Egyptian relationship in light of the current political drift between the two countries and Egypt’s ongoing economic crisis. Egypt’s current attempt to secure a $4.8 billion IMF loan requiring potential subsidy cuts to gasoline and cooking oil serve to complicate matters as ensuing price rises could trigger riots and provoke Egyptians to blame the United States.
Hanin Ghaddar, a Lebanese public policy scholar at the Wilson Center, writes about the role that voting can play in empowering women in the Middle East. She discusses the need for the Arab Spring to be accompanied by a women's spring.
Farzaneh Roudi writes on the Iranian government's recent reversal of its population policy—its fertility policy, to be more precise. Alarmed by the country’s rapidly aging population, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is calling on women to procreate.
On June 20, 2012, the Wilson Center’s Middle East Program hosted a meeting on “The Arab Awakening: Is Democracy a Mirage?” This publication brings together the talks presented at the meeting.
"The overwhelming impression from a two-week visit to the kingdom is that the House of Saud finds itself in a tight race against time to head off a social explosion, made more likely by the current Arab Awakening, that could undermine its legitimacy and stability."
David Ottaway is a senior scholar at the Wilson Center who has recently returned from Morocco. The following piece is an overview of his observations on Morocco’s Islamists.
In this publication, based on papers presented at a conference on May 14, 2012 at the Wilson Center, leading women scholars and activists analyze the strategies by which opponents of women’s rights seek to marginalize women and the strategies by which women have sought to protect and expand these rights.