It has long been the conceit of Iran specialists and political commentators that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was not informed that militant students intended to take over the U.S. embassy in Iran in 1979. The Western intelligentsia has vouched for the Islamic Republic and claimed that the hostage crisis was a product of an internal power struggle. It was not about America, but rather about a revolution sorting itself out. As such, the hostage drama should not stand in the way of a rapprochement between the two nations.
In recent weeks, Western governments have begun subtly shifting their positions on Syria. The Obama administration seems to have quietly dropped its demand that President Bashar al-Assad resign as a precondition of peace talks. Instead, reports suggest it has embraced proposals that would allow Assad to be part of an interim deal. The new approach implies that the White House and its allies believe that the Syrian president might be open to a compromise that could end his country’s four-year civil war.
Provides research links to background information on the Middle East and U.S. policy towards the Middle East, including sections on news, government, data, and history, and resources for additional information on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and the Arab Revolt.
In his testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Ray Takeyh argues that irrespective of the ebbs and flows of nuclear diplomacy, the United States should continue to focus its efforts on ways of limiting Iran's aggressive policies in the Middle East.
The Obama administration will be tempted to take a victory lap because of recent news that Kurdish militiamen have regained control of Kobani, a Syrian town near the border with Turkey. ISIS forces that had been attacking it for months have melted away. This is, to be sure, a nice achievement, but its wider significance is limited.
In National Review, Elliott Abrams wondered why President Obama brought a huge delegation with him on his condolence trip—far more than the occasion deserved, unwieldy, and perhaps a reaction to having sent no one at all to Paris.
While the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia may not change the course of Saudi oil policy, Meghan O'Sullivan writes that interesting changes to the Kingdom's cabinet roster and other energy policies could be closer than most realize.
While the supreme leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei remains Iran’s most consequential decision-maker, many of Iran’s most popular yet purged opposition leaders have decried the nuclear program as not economically beneficial, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. Given that these reformers could win open and free elections, it is important to pay close attention to their arguments.
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The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
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