Middle East and North Africa Publications
After several months of uncertainty, the Iranian government finally agreed to meet again with the P5+1 group in Almaty, Kazakhstan on February 26 for negotiations over its nuclear program. Iran’s economy is suffering the effects of the severe sanctions imposed by the West, but the government is not yet prepared to change course on the nuclear issue. Iran needs to be certain of a positive outcome from the negotiations before it commits itself to meeting the West’s concerns over its nuclear intentions.
The pronounced role of sanctions in creating shortages of life-saving medical supplies and drugs in Iran may have been unintentional, but it is also irrefutable. Iran’s own mismanagement of the situation has aggravated the problem, but it is not the root cause of it. While the list of issues leading to the supply crunch is long and complicated, at the heart of it all are the obstacles that sanctions have created in denying Iran the necessary banking operations and limiting its access to hard currency. Namazi presents findings based on a recent study that he and a number of Iranian consultants carried out.
Many young Saudis admire the youthful protesters of Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, and Bahrain. But they don’t seek to imitate their tactic of massive street protests. One reason why is that they still hope—despite the lack of available evidence—that the Saudi royal family will voluntarily begin to share power with the Saudi people. Presumably then, the government can rest easy? Not necessarily.
Iran's presidential elections will take place in June against a background of crisis. The ruling elite is deeply divided, reformist leaders remain under house arrest, economic problems are mounting and the stand-off with the West over Iran's nuclear program remains unresolved. Shaul Bakhash discusses the potential candidates, the major issues and vexed question of electoral freedom that are likely to dominate the election campaign.
As the Arab Spring enters its third year, the contours of a new strategic landscape are taking shape in the Middle East. Reflecting the disordered state of regional politics, this landscape is far from stable. Yet it contains features that will pose significant challenges for U.S. diplomacy.
Since Tuareg nationalists and al-Qaeda seized control of northern Mali in February 2012, the world has been dithering about what to do. Neither the United States nor Algeria, two potentially key actors in the unfolding drama, has decided on its role yet. Mali’s neighbors, the African Union, and the UN Security Council have not wanted to take any risky action and have found ways to put off a military response in the slim hope of finding a political solution.
Written by former Public Policy Scholar Caryle Murphy, A Kingdom's Future: Saudi Arabia Through the Eyes of Its Twentysomethings explores the self-image of young Saudis and what they want when it comes to education, marriage, politics, religion, and personal liberties.
Many analysts have rushed to declare a political outcome for Egypt's transition. Stacher argues that we must understand Egypt’s transition as a process of change rather than a finalized outcome. In doing so, he details the structural limits of governing Egypt as well as the receding capacity of state elites to deploy repression as a means of political control.
Egypt’s post-revolution constitution does not explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender or religion. It only recognizes women’s domestic role within a family “founded on religion, morality, and patriotism.” Clerics will have the final word over the new laws.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 800 women die daily from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Almost all of these deaths occur in developing countries, with higher rates for women living in rural areas and among poorer communities.