Middle East and North Africa

Primary Sources

U.S. Senate: Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Forty-seven U.S. Senate Republicans signed an open letter to leaders in Iran about the U.S. participation in P5+1 talks on Iran's nuclear program. The letter states that any agreement reached must be approved by Congress and that Congress can overturn any agreement reached after President Obama leaves office. Vice President Joseph Biden responded with a statement about the nature of international agreements and Congress's role.

See more in Iran; Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament; Congresses, Parliaments, National Legislatures; United States

Article

Iran Becomes a 'Front Line' State

Author: Elliott Abrams
Weekly Standard

In an article for The Weekly Standard, Elliott Abrams discusses  Iran’s transformation into a "front line state" against Israel. This turn of events alarms Israelis and Arabs alike, but not nearly so much as another fact: that Iran's expansionism and military adventurism are being met with approval from the Obama administration.

See more in Iran; Israel; Conflict Assessment

Transcript

Media Conference Call: Assessing Netanyahu's Speech

Speakers: Robert M. Danin and Ray Takeyh
Presider: Gideon Rose

CFR experts Robert Danin and Ray Takeyh discuss Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's March 3, 2015 speech before a joint session of U.S. Congress. Experts discuss U.S.-Israel relations, Prime Minister Netanyahu's strategic objectives, and ongoing talks over Iran's nuclear program.

See more in Israel; Iran; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament

Op-Ed

Obama's Bay of Pigs

Author: Micah Zenko
Foreign Policy

The U.S. plan to arm Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria looks eerily similar to the infamous 1961 failed Bay of Pigs operation. Micah Zenko argues that a clarification of phase two—how the United States will support the armed rebels once they are trained and equipped—is needed before the United States proceeds.

See more in Syria; Defense Strategy; Conflict Assessment

Op-Ed

The Strategic Genius of Iran's Supreme Leader

Author: Ray Takeyh
Washington Post

On the surface, there is not much that commends Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. An anti-Semite, he has frequently questioned the Holocaust and defamed Israel in despicable terms. As a conspiracy theorist, he endlessly weaves strange tales about the United States and its intentions. As a national leader, he has ruthlessly repressed Iran’s once-vibrant civil society while impoverishing its economy.

See more in Iran; Presidents and Chiefs of State

Article

How Obama Caved on Bahrain

Author: Elliott Abrams
Foreign Policy

Instability in Bahrain has grown in recent years as the Sunni royal family has repressed rather than accommodated the desire of the majority Shia population for a role in the political life of the country, but the White House reaction is silence. Elliott Abrams tells the story in a new article in Foreign Policy.

See more in Bahrain; United States; Human Rights

Audio

Democracy and Religious Tolerance in Tunisia

Speakers: Alfred C. Stepan and Amna Guellali

Alfred C. Stepan, founding director of Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Democracy, Toleration, and Religion, discusses democracy and religious tolerance in Tunisia, as part of CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Initiative.

See more in Tunisia; Democratization; Religion

Op-Ed

Managing the ISIS Crisis

Author: Richard N. Haass
Project Syndicate
One day, historians will have their hands full debating the causes of the chaos now overtaking much of the Middle East. To what extent, they will ask, was it the inevitable result of deep flaws common to many of the region's societies and political systems, and to what extent did it stem from what outside countries chose to do (or not to do)?

See more in Middle East and North Africa; Terrorist Organizations and Networks