All of this regional activity is happening with the U.S. quietly coordinating in the background, encouraging some moves while discouraging or ignoring others (such as the overtures to Assad), but overall engaging in much more diplomacy across the region ahead of the nuclear talks with Iran that resumed this week after a five-month hiatus.
In an interview, Thomas Pierret explains what was behind the effective abrogation of the position of mufti in Syria.
By encouraging outside powers to have a stake in Lebanon, Hezbollah’s foes may create spaces to contain Iran.
In an interview, Ali Hashem discusses Iran’s role following an apparent assassination attempt against Iraq’s prime minister.
Rising pressure against Lebanon from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states may well be tied to Hezbollah’s role in Yemen.
There is no question that Washington’s position in the broader Middle East was dented by the fiasco in Afghanistan. Ultimately, however, U.S. assets in the region are still unrivaled: the United States’ political and economic influence, hard power, soft power, embrace of multilateral diplomacy, and leadership of a rules-based global order continue to give it the upper hand over all its rivals.
Iraq’s parliamentary elections show a shift in the balance of power in favor of Moqtada al-Sadr and Nouri al-Maliki.
Aaron David Miller welcomes Robert Malley, the U.S. special envoy for Iran, to discuss the future of the Iran deal and how the United States can contain Iran's nuclear ambitions and regional aspirations.
Regional and international actors are accumulating cards to engage in a new Middle Eastern power game.
The IAEA director general and U.S. secretary of state have recently voiced heightened concerns over the direction of Iran’s nuclear program and frustrations with the lack of diplomatic progress. Yet these developments are entirely predictable for those who closely study the logic behind Iran’s nuclear ambitions and patterns of behavior.