Middle East & North Africa

26 Items

Then-Defense Secretary James N. Mattis meets with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Pentagon on March 22, 2018.

Department of Defense/Navy Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kathryn E. Holm

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear Program: Separating Real Concerns from Threat Inflation

| Oct. 08, 2020

In the highly charged political atmosphere surrounding nuclear initiatives in the Middle East, legitimate concerns are sometimes blown out of proportion, with potentially problematic results. This has been the case with recent coverage and commentary on Saudi Arabia’s nuclear activities, which have been characterized by a degree of what can be described as “threat inflation.”

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

Building Sustainable Relationships, Energy, and Security in the Middle East

Spring 2020

While the Middle East Initiative is focused entirely on the MENA region, several other Center programs are also working on issues related to the Middle East, including Future of Diplomacy, Geopolitics of Energy, and the Managing the Atom.

A desalination test facility on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi in 2015 (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell).

AP Photo/Jon Gambrell

Analysis & Opinions - LobeLog

Gulf Escalation Threatens Drinking Water

| June 26, 2019

The Persian Gulf is one of the most populous and environmentally-sensitive regions in the world. Consequently, it is no surprise that Gulf states are increasingly dependent on desalination for their drinking water. But that dependence carries severe risks in a region as volatile as the Gulf has been, especially in light of recent tensions between the United States and Iran. Any accident or military conflict in the Gulf could cause massive spills of long-lasting contaminants such as crude oil or radioactive material into its waters, which could seriously threaten the lives and well-being of millions of people in the region.

U.S. military vehicles on a road in Syria, showing the American flag.

Independent

Analysis & Opinions - Le Monde

International Whiplash over America’s Syria Policy

| Jan. 23, 2019

Confused messaging by the American government on Syria, with presidential tweets and dissonant statements from senior officials, has caused international whiplash in recent weeks. This hasty announcement and its botched implementation have already harmed American credibility and risk inflaming an already complex situation.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative public policy think tank, in Washington on May 21, 2018. Pompeo issued a steep list of demands Monday that he said should be included in a nuclear treaty with Iran to replace the Obama-era deal, threatening "the strongest sanctions in history" if Iran doesn't change course (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press).

J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

Analysis & Opinions - The Hill

Congress Must Manage the Consequences of the Withdrawal From the Iran Nuclear Deal

| May 22, 2018

President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran will undermine U.S. power and influence around the world. Congress must closely monitor the reinstatement of sanctions on Iran to reduce the blowback on U.S economic interests, and provide strict oversight of the Trump administration’s evolving strategy toward Iran.

Nuclear Talks between Iran and World Powers

US State Department

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

How to Ensure Iran Never Resumes Reprocessing

| Dec. 13, 2017

Though the negotiation leading to the JCPOA took place over a significant stretch of time—indeed, it was built on the foundation of talks that began in 2003—it’s important to remember that the deal contains critical concessions regarding Iran’s production of plutonium, which the United States had been seeking from Tehran since the 1970s, when the two countries were allies.

President Trump at the RNC

VOA

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Trump's Dangerous Shift on Iran

| Oct. 15, 2017

On Friday, the United States reached a turning point in its relations with Iran. U.S. President Donald Trump forcefully denounced the Islamic Republic in a highly confrontational speech, threatening to upend the nuclear deal unless Congress amends it to make its terms more restrictive. By refusing to certify the accord, despite verification that Iran is in compliance, Trump essentially torpedoed the hard work that led to Washington’s recent opening to Tehran.

Analysis & Opinions - Modern Diplomacy

Hit and Run, Iran? The Military Dynamics of Nonproliferation

| February 2, 2015

Weapons of Mass Destruction or of mass delusion? To nail or derail. Ambiguity in Iran's weapon acquisition dynamics exacerbates mistrust, which is the core reason for the present standoff at the negotiating table. In this paper, the author elucidates the Iranian military's capability and intention by delving into the main componential elements of weapon acquisition.

Journal Article - Geopolitics, History, and International Relations

Iran and Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Military Dynamics of Non-Proliferation

| 2014

Weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) are not suitable for the Iranian Army, given its non-mechanized nature; its defensive military posture; its current status as a non-nuclear weapon state; and its sufficient conventional preparation to meet its protective security interests. This paper proposes three interlinked policy approaches to resolve the current impasse.