Middle East and North Africa Publications
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.
Amid the growing number of reports warning that climate change threatens security, one potentially dangerous – but counterintuitive – dimension has been largely ignored. Could efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and lower our vulnerability to climate change inadvertently exacerbate existing conflicts?
Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Kennan Institute Occasional Paper Series #212, 1986. PDF 44 pages.
Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Kennan Institute Occasional Paper Series #185, 1984. PDF 17 pages.
Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Kennan Institute Occasional Paper Series #122, 1981. PDF 26 pages.
Senior Scholar Marina Ottaway writes that ten years after the U.S. invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein, Iraq remains a deeply troubled country, rent by internal dissensions and caught in the maelstrom of the increasingly sectarian politics of the region.
Tunisia’s transition to democracy, widely regarded as the most successful to emerge from the five uprisings that shook the Arab world in 2011, is being seriously threatened by violence in the wake of a prominent leftist politician’s assassination in early February. The killing of Chokri Belaid has not only triggered a showdown within the ruling Islamic Ennahda Party between its moderate and fundamentalist wings but also deepened the hostility between secularists and Islamists within Tunisian society.