Middle East & North Africa

57 Items

U.S. President Donald Trump Speaks During a Press Conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 28, 2019.

Associated Press

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Trump’s Comments on Otto Warmbier are a Reminder He Doesn’t Prioritize Human Rights

| Feb. 28, 2019

The Trump administration has never shown much interest in human rights. Last year, it pulled the United States out of the U.N. Human Rights Council. In 2017, within months of President Trump’s inauguration, then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said diplomats should not let human rights values become “obstacles” to achieving national goals. Trump has spoken favorably about some of the world’s most vicious dictators.

Sovereign Venture Capitalism: At a Crossroad

StockSnap/Pixabay

Analysis & Opinions - The Economist

Sovereign Venture Capitalism: At a Crossroad

| Oct. 03, 2018

What the Iron Man-like character is claiming for his futuristic automotive company is not unheard of. On a systemic basis, mammoth institutional investment—especially from sovereign wealth funds (SWFs)—is flowing into start-ups and technology-oriented publicly traded companies. In this case, Saudi billions would help Mr Musk escape the pressures of being publicly listed. SWFs have invested large sums into high-growth start-ups promising innovation and financial returns. In fact, just this month, Saudi’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced a US$1bn investment in Tesla’s rival, Lucid, and a US$2bn stake in Tesla. The rise in SWF balance sheets and activity is having ramifications on global efforts to be more Silicon Valley-like, and on Silicon Valley itself.

teaser image

News - Atlantic Council

Bridging the Gulf in the GCC

| May 11, 2018

Belfer Center Visiting Fellow Michael Greenwald, senior advisor to Atlantic Council President and Chief Executive Officer Fred Kempe, was interviewed by Rachel Brandenburg, director of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security’s Middle East Security Initiative at the Atlantic Council, about the implications of the ongoing feud for the Gulf states and US interests. Greenwald is a former US Treasury attaché to Qatar and Kuwait.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stands with other Foreign Ministers whose countries are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council following a meeting on January 23, 2016, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

U.S. Department of State

Journal Article - New Political Economy

Domestic Sources of Twenty-first-century Geopolitics: Domestic Politics and Sovereign Wealth Funds in GCC Economies

| Feb. 05, 2018

The present article brings domestic politics into an analysis on sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) that are relevant for the study of contemporary geopolitics. What are the domestic drivers behind SWF creation, and how does a country’s domestic political environment affect the creation of these funds? Using a comparative historical case study on sovereign funds in Gulf Cooperation Countries, this article investigates the effects of domestic state–society structures on decisions about SWF creation and their evolving structure.

Rouhani reelection rally

President.ir

Blog Post - Iran Matters

The Significance of Hassan Rouhani’s Reelection as President of Iran

    Author:
  • Ephraim Kam
| June 06, 2017

What can we expect from Rouhani’s second term? The large majority with which he won does not change the basic fact that the number one decision-maker in Iran remains Supreme Leader Khamenei. Ephraim Kam writes to Iran Matters that it is doubtful that Rouhani’s large majority will translate into greater power vis-à-vis Khamenei and the regime’s radical wing, as the president will likely continue to depend on them.

iranians shopping in bazaar

AP

Analysis & Opinions

Economic challenges loom in Rohani’s second term

| May 28, 2017

Despite its flaws, the May 19 presidential election offered Iranian voters a real choice between the moderate incumbent President Hassan Rohani and a hard-line rival, Ayatollah Ebrahim Raeisi. Djavad Salehi-Isfahani writes to The Arab Weekly that Rohani’s decisive win with 57% of the vote, combined with a sweep by reformist candidates in the city council elections in Tehran and several other major cities, gives him a strong mandate to move for­ward with his program of eco­nomic reform.

ibrahim raisi

AP

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

How Iran's Hard-Liners Are Challenging Rouhani (From the Left)

| May 18, 2017

Although Rouhani has an incumbent’s advantage, his promised economic revival is seen by many as having fallen short of his stated goals, and he has been the target of unceasing and strong allegations of corruption. Despite the fact that every Iranian president in the post-Khomeini period has served two terms, why is Rouhani in a precarious position? And what are the factors that anti-Rouhani forces are trying to use to their advantage? In an article to The National Interest, Payam Mohseni, Director of the Belfer Center's Iran Project, shows that recalling the lessons of the 2005 election, which brought Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power, serves as a useful model in understanding this year’s contest and the challenges Rouhani faces in maintaining power.