Middle East and North Africa

Testimony

Iran’s Destabilizing Role in the Middle East

Author: Ray Takeyh

In his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ray Takeyh argues that in order to successfully combat Iran's destabilizing influence in the Middle East, the United States must be an active player in Syria and Iraq and undertake a more systematic effort to contest all of Iran's regional assets.

See more in Iran; Regional Security

Primary Sources

Background Briefing on P5+1 Negotiations, July 2014

Senior administration officials updated the press regarding negotations between the P5+1 (United States, United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, and Germany) and Iran on nuclear nonproliferation, held July 2-20, 2014. The discussions are a continuation of deal reached in November 2013, which provided sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for limiting its nuclear activities by July 20, 2014.

See more in Iran; United States; Arms Control, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation

Op-Ed

Obama's Armed Drones in Iraq Reek of Mission Creep

Author: Micah Zenko
Foreign Policy

The pentagon last week acknowledged that the United States deployed armed drones to Iraq to provide surveillance and strike capabilities as the crisis with the Islamic State of Iraq and and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) continues to deteriorate. However, Micah Zenko points out that while numerous U.S. officials have called for the deployment of drones, these demands have not been accompanied by justifications, and there is still no precise goals for the deployment.

See more in Pakistan; Iraq; Drones; Counterterrorism

Op-Ed

The US Can Still Help Save Syria — and Iraq

Author: Elliott Abrams
Standpoint

After the 20th century's list of events of mass murder — from the Ukraine famine of the early 1930s and the Holocaust in the 1940s, to the Balkans wars and the Rwanda genocide of the 1990s — the cries of "never again" and the assertion of a "responsibility to protect" gave some hope that mass killing would not recur in the 21st century. Then came Darfur in the new century's first decade, and now Syria in the second. Mass killing has very clearly not been eliminated, nor has the "international community" developed a response that will avert it or bring it to a quick end.

See more in Syria; Iraq; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights

Transcript

Transcript: Foreign Affairs Media Call on Iraq and ISIS

Speakers: Steven Simon and Barak Mendelsohn
Presider: Gideon Rose

Steven Simon, former senior director for Middle Eastern and North African affairs at the National Security Council, and Barak Mendelsohn, associate professor of political science at Haverford College discuss the fight between the Iraqi government and the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).

See more in Iraq; Terrorism

Op-Ed

The Man Who Broke the Middle East

Author: Elliott Abrams
Politico

The Middle East that Obama inherited in 2009 was largely at peace, for the surge in Iraq had beaten down the al Qaeda-linked groups. U.S. relations with traditional allies in the Gulf, Jordan, Israel and Egypt were very good. Iran was contained, its Revolutionary Guard forces at home. Today, terrorism has metastasized in Syria and Iraq, Jordan is at risk, the humanitarian toll is staggering, terrorist groups are growing fast and relations with U.S. allies are strained.

See more in Middle East and North Africa; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights