Events

Can the EU Oil Embargo Bring Iran Back to the Bargaining Table?

As nuclear talks with Iran remained deadlocked, the EU confirmed plans for a full embargo of Iranian crude oil exports commencing July 1. Will these sanctions force Iran back to the bargaining table? Michael Adler explains the latest developments.

Lebanon's Existential Threats

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.

"They Tried to Break My Spirit"

Middle East Program Director Haleh Esfandiari chronicles her interrogation and incarceration in Iran, including 105 days in solitary confinement at Evin Prison, in My Prison, My Home. The new book is set against the backdrop of fond memories of her Iranian upbringing, with insights into the current troubled political climate.

Young Saudis and The Kingdom’s Political Future

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.
Saudi Arabia’s Race Against Time

Saudi Arabia's Race Against Time (Summer 2012)

"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."

10 Dangers in the Iraq Crisis

“The danger from the extremist movement growing in Iraq is not just creating failed states out of Iraq and Syria but spawning a failed region,” writes Robin Wright.

Reflections on Women in the Arab Spring: Women’s Voices from Around the World

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2012, the Middle East Program asked a cross-section of women in the MENA region, the United States, and other countries to reflect on how women have fared in the Arab Spring.

Iraq’s Kurdistan Takes a Giant Step Toward Independence

Iraq’s Kurdistan has signed multiple energy agreements with neighboring Turkey and is about to become an independent oil and gas exporter in defiance of Baghdad and Washington. This will provide Kurdistan, already an autonomous region within Iraq, with the financial and economic basis for its possible eventual independence. Turkey strongly opposes this and even limited autonomy for its own Kurds but has succumbed to its voracious appetite for new energy sources.

The Egyptian Constitution: Mapping Where Power Lies

The draft of the Egyptian constitution, which will shortly be submitted to a referendum, is largely an aspirational document painting a picture of Egypt as a modern, progressive welfare state—an unattainable goal for the bankrupt country. But the constitution also provides an accurate map of power distribution in the country.

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