Our inspiration

The Atlantic Council’s work on social, economic and human development issues in the Middle East honors the legacy of Rafik Hariri and his life’s mission to unlock the human and economic potential of the Arab world.

The Atlantic Council’s work on Middle East security honors the legacy of Brent Scowcroft and his tireless efforts to build a new security architecture for the region.

Countries & Sub-regions in Focus

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Sign up for the MENASource newsletter, highlighting pieces that follow democratic transitions and economic changes throughout the region.

Our blogs feature thoughtful reflections and opinions on current events in the Middle East & North Africa.

Our reports feature policy-relevant analysis that focuses on transatlantic priorities while centering the concerns of citizens in the Middle East.


Upcoming Events

We convene the most important stakeholders on issues of primary concern to the transatlantic community when it comes the Middle East and North Africa, from senior US and Middle East government officials to civil society activists and budding entrepreneurs.

Past events

Wed, Mar 31, 2021

Roundtable on IGNITING Women’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Saudi Arabia

Public Event A discussion about Saudi Arabia’s recent efforts to boost women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment as well as challenges that remain

10:00am Economy & Business Middle East Resilience & Society

Mon, Mar 22, 2021

Iraqi diaspora mobilization and the future development of Iraq

Online Event A discussion surrounding the upcoming paper, Iraqi Diaspora Mobilization and the Future Development of Iraq, which explores Iraqi diaspora mobilization before and after the 2003 invasion and fall of the regime of Saddam Hussein.

10:00am Economy & Business Iraq Politics & Diplomacy Resilience & Society

Fri, Mar 12, 2021

A briefing on Yemen’s humanitarian crisis

Online Event Tim Lenderking, US Special Envoy for Yemen, and Sarah Charles, Assistant to the Administrator of USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, discuss the US policy response to conflict and humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

9:15am Conflict Middle East Yemen

Sign up to receive invitations to public events on issues related to the Middle East and North Africa.



Fri, Apr 16, 2021

Italy found its way back into Libya

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s visit to Libya is a big step for renewing Italy’s role in Libya and the wider Mediterranean, one that should not be overlooked.

MENASource by Karim Mezran, Alissa Pavia

Libya Middle East

Fri, Apr 16, 2021

Israel’s ‘shadow’ war with Iran risks playing out in the open

After the Donald Trump administration quit the deal in May 2018, Israel escalated a shadow war with Iran to disrupt Iranian shipping and retard Iran’s nuclear advances, as the Islamic Republic had stopped implementing its JCPOA commitments in response. That war has now come increasingly into the open.

IranSource by Sina Azodi

Politics & Diplomacy

Thu, Apr 15, 2021

Baby bottle coffee drinks and censorship: The ultimate guide to Arab TikTok

Although TikTok provides a platform for creative expression and political speech, repressive governments around the world attempt to censor users—and the Middle East is no exception. Those in charge are fearful of the app’s quick-sharing nature, which can allow anything from popular dances to government slander to spread rapidly.

MENASource by Samantha Treiman

Media Middle East

Wed, Apr 14, 2021

Iran’s botched handling of the coronavirus may impact June election

Given the economic uncertainty, unrest in the upcoming election season is possible. An excessive vaccination fee, rumors of nepotism as the vaccination programs roll out, black market distribution of vaccines, or distribution of fake vaccines could ignite a wildfire—especially under current circumstances.

IranElections2021 by Masoud Mostajabi

Coronavirus Iran

Tue, Apr 13, 2021

FAST THINKING: Leaving Afghanistan, twenty years later

America’s longest war is set to finally come to an end, with President Joe Biden expected to announce on Wednesday that all American troops will withdraw from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021. What’s the state of the nation that the US military will leave behind?

Fast Thinking by Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Defense Policy

Mon, Apr 12, 2021

FAST THINKING: Did the Iran nuclear talks just blow up?

Iran’s ability to enrich uranium for potential use in nuclear weapons may have suffered a severe blow on Sunday after an explosion knocked out power at its Natanz nuclear site, while indirect talks continue in Vienna around reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Will the explosion blow up those negotiations? And what will its impact be on Iran itself and the country’s nuclear program?

Fast Thinking by Atlantic Council

Crisis Management Iran

Mon, Apr 12, 2021

Iran’s June elections could consolidate hardline power before Khamenei succession

For hardliners in Iran, the June 18 presidential election is less about choosing a new executive branch chief than about consolidating power centers before the time comes to choose Iran’s real ruler: the next Supreme Leader.

IranElections2021 by Anonymous

Iran Middle East

Fri, Apr 9, 2021

Jordan was never ‘boring.’ A vibrant protest movement has been ignored for too long.

The greatest risk to Jordan’s stability remains that political and economic reform has been delayed for too long, and the little space that remains for Jordanians to express their legitimate frustration and dissent is narrowing every day.

MENASource by Tuqa Nusairat

Civil Society Coronavirus

Fri, Apr 9, 2021

Russia is friendly with the Houthis in Yemen. But it’s complicated.

Even though Moscow may not be militarily involved in Yemen does not mean that Russia is uninvolved.

MENASource by Mark N. Katz

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

Thu, Apr 8, 2021

Slavin joins i24 to discuss lifting US sanctions on Iran

In the News

Economic Sanctions Iran