Middle East and North Africa Publications
The alliance between Iran and Syria has been an important and persistent feature on the political landscape of the Middle East for more than three decades. The eruption of the Syrian uprising in the spring of 2011 has presented the greatest challenge to the survival of the Tehran-Damascus nexus. Does this signify the end of the partnership? This article provides a brief overview of the relationship and a detailed analysis of the evolution of Iran’s policies, perspectives, interests, and options in the ongoing Syrian crisis.
The EU designated the "military" wing of Hizbullah as a terrorist organization, inviting strong reaction from Hizbullah describing it as a "legal cover for Israel to attack" Lebanon. The party is using the decision to intimidate UNIFIL forces in South Lebanon through the use of its local elected officials and the population. Hizbullah needs UNIFIL more than ever to keep the calm in the South while fighting in Syria. The threats to UNIFIL should not prevent the UN force from doing its work. While the attacks by Hizbullah's supporters on the UNIFIL forces might increase, the last thing Hizbullah and the people of the South need now is another war with Israel. This is the best guarantee for the safety of UNIFIL.
After taking over the presidential office in early August, President-elect Hassan Rouhani will face a long host of economic challenges. He has made the economy—especially tackling unemployment—his highest priority, but it is clear that the process of reversing the negative trends of the past few years will be a medium-term process. This brief will discuss the challenges as well as the approaches of the emerging Rouhani government in the field of economy.
Origins of the Suez Crisis: Postwar Development Diplomacy and the Struggle over Third World Industrialization, 1945–1956Jul 25, 2013
Origins of the Suez Crisis describes the long run-up to the 1956 Suez Crisis and the crisis itself by focusing on politics, economics, and foreign policy decisions in Egypt, Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union.
ElBaradei, the former international bureaucrat, is now in government in his homeland. It remains to be seen how he fares in this new role. The military, after all, is looking over his shoulder after putting him in power. ElBaradei’s delicate task will be to reassure the military while preserving his commitment to a real democracy. If the past is any guide, the mild-mannered Nobel Peace laureate may turn out to be surprising due to his tenacity.
The last week in Egypt was yet another breathtaking moment in the history of the Arab Spring. For the second time in two years, the Egyptian people have emerged victorious in a major confrontation with their government. Yet the road ahead is bumpy. Events in Egypt suggest that the Islamist ascendancy of the last few years has peaked and is now in decline. Yet the jury is still out on that question, and developments in Egypt will do much to answer it.
On the occasion of Hassan Rouhani’s election as Iran’s new president, the Middle East Program compiled the views of 25 Iran experts from the Middle East, Europe, and the United States on the topic, “The Domestic and Foreign Policy Challenges of the New Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani.”
Once again Lebanon is facing crises that are driving it toward communal strife. The Syrian crisis and Hizbullah's involvement in it on the side of the Bashar al-Assad regime is dividing the country, stoking sectarian feelings, and forcing a political vacuum in the government. The flood of hundreds of thousands of refugees is adding to the explosive mix. Few Lebanese are trying to find a way out. Their success will depend on how the Syrian crisis turns out.
Hassan Rouhani’s surprising first round victory in the presidential elections represents a significant shift in the Iranian political landscape. In a field of candidates dominated by conservatives, Rouhani ran as a moderate. He questioned the necessity of the expanding security state and the constant oversight of student and civil society associations by the security agencies. He spoke of the need for greater freedom of press and speech, and devoted attention to women’s rights issues. Whether he will succeed, or whether he will initiate a change of direction only to be blocked by yet another rightwing backlash, remains to be seen.
The pace of reform in Morocco has been extremely slow since the enacting of the new constitution. Yet, buried in the maze of reports and studies that accompany any change in Morocco, a significant development is taking place: the program of “advanced regionalization” promoted by the king is transforming the 2007 proposal to grant a degree of autonomy to the Western Sahara into a one-size-fits-all system in which all Moroccan regions would enjoy more self-government, with the Western Sahara treated like any other region.