Middle East & North Africa

4618 Items

Noor 1 and 2 - Ouarzazate Solar Power Station

Richard Allaway via Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - International Monetary Fund

North Africa's Hydrogen Mirage

| September 2023

Amid the global energy transition, investors are anxious to pour billions of dollars into many of these countries to turn the new fossil fuel finds into hydrogen. The element is the key feedstock for fuel cells, which use chemical reactions to generate electricity cleanly, with water as the main byproduct. Notwithstanding the considerable technological challenges ahead, demand for the gas in Europe and elsewhere is widely expected to surge as vehicles, factories, and other energy users seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

For Southern Rim nations, however, this tantalizing opportunity for economic development risks turning into just another Sahara mirage. That’s because the hype surrounding hydrogen may continue to distract the regions’ leaders from addressing the tough domestic social issues that are behind the migration crisis. If the technology does become viable, revenue from hydrogen exports to Europe could just perpetuate rent-seeking behavior by political and economic elites at the expense of their own citizens.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, right, and her Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen brief the media after a meeting at the foreign ministry in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023.

AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

Analysis & Opinions - Lawfare

When Forgiveness Is Impossible: How Atonement Works as Policy

  • Kathrin Bachleitner
| Aug. 27, 2023

In 1952, West Germany and Israel signed the Reparations Agreement between Israel and the Federal Republic of Germany, which became known as the Luxembourg Agreement. Prior to its conclusion, West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer gave an official apology for “unspeakable crimes” that called for “moral and material indemnity.” The agreement committed West Germany to paying the state of Israel 3 billion deutschmarks (around $714 million at the time, equivalent to more than $8 billion today) over 14 years. The Luxembourg Agreement’s combination of an official apology and material compensation remains unique to this day. However, it doesn’t have to remain that way. Reviewing what made West Germany select this path shows how atonement could become a reality for other states that have committed severe human rights abuses.

U.S. and Iranian negotiators sit around a cured table as media with cameras and microphones crowd the foreground.

Joe Klamar/Pool Photo via AP

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Nuclear About-Face: Examining the Role of Collective Face Concerns in Iran's Nuclear Decision-Making

| July 2023

By looking beyond solely Iran’s security motivations, this paper by Sahar Nowrouzzadeh seeks to inform more holistic negotiation strategies that can potentially influence Iran’s nuclear decision-making in a manner more favorable to U.S. interests.

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi

Alexandr Demyanchuk, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File

Broadcast Appearance - VOA

FLASHPOINT IRAN: Britain Plans Broader Sanctions But Lack of IRGC Designation Concerns Activists

| July 11, 2023

Michael Lipin interviews Project on Managing the Atom Associate Nicole Grajewski on why Iran may not benefit much from its new membership of Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Saudi First

| July 05, 2023

This report is based on four extended trips to the Kingdom since the author’s April 2019 paper, Profile of a Prince: Promise and Peril in Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030. While this report will focus primarily on changes in foreign and defense policy in the Kingdom, it also will update readers on the breathtaking changes in economic and cultural life of the Saudi people. 

Saudi Arabian oil facilities in flames


Journal Article - Survival

Houthis in the Footsteps of Hizbullah

| 2023

The Houthis' strategic behaviour and communications indicate that they have attempted to succeed against Saudi Arabia in the same way that Hizbullah has succeeded against Israel: to harness their long-range missiles as a means of subjecting their stronger opponents to limitations and 'rules of the game.' So far, the Houthis have been far less successful than Hizbullah. Nevertheless, the Houthis have become an integral part of the Iran-led 'axis of resistance.'

Henry Kissinger

AP/Markus Schreiber

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Solving the Mystery of Henry Kissinger's Reputation

| June 09, 2023

Stephen Walt critiques Henry Kissinger's professional life by dividing it into three parts: as an academic at Harvard; as national security advisor and secretary of state; and as an author, pundit, and sage, much of it conducted as the head of Kissinger Associates, the consulting firm he founded after leaving government.