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.

Featured commentary & analysis

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

Featured in-depth research & reports

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.

Tue, Sep 10, 2019

A conversation with Iraqi Ambassador Fareed Yasseen

Atlantic Council’s Iraq Initiative invites you to join us for a conversation with Iraqi Ambassador Fareed Yasseen.

12:00pm Washington DC

Fri, Sep 13, 2019

Hizballah and Iran’s Illicit Financial Networks

Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Terrorist Financing Marshall Billingslea will discuss the latest efforts to counter Iranian illicit financial networks and Hizballah in the Levant, Gulf, and Latin America.

10:00am Washington DC

Past events

Tue, Sep 10, 2019

A conversation with Iraqi Ambassador Fareed Yasseen

Atlantic Council’s Iraq Initiative invites you to join us for a conversation with Iraqi Ambassador Fareed Yasseen.

12:00pm Washington DC

Mon, Jul 29, 2019

Avenues for managing the escalating crisis in the Gulf

On July 30, the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and the Arabia Foundation held a discussion unpacking the recent pattern of escalation with Iran in the Gulf, the US and regional policy response, and what comes next.


Tue, Aug 6, 2019

A view from Iraq: A conversation with Iraqi MP Sarkawt Shamsulddin

On August 6, the Atlantic Council Iraq Initiative hosted Iraqi Council of Representatives Member Sarkawt Shamsulddin for a public event. In 2018, Shamsulddin became the youngest member of the Iraqi parliament, securing the top position of the New Generation Movement in Sulaymaniyah Province.


Mon, Jul 22, 2019

Beyond control: Iran and its opponents locked in a lopsided confrontation

Atlantic Council hosted a panel discussion on July 22 that also marked the release of a new issue brief, “Beyond Control: Iran and its Opponents Locked in a Lopsided Confrontation.”


Mon, Jul 15, 2019

After Sistani and Khamenei: Looming successions will shape the Middle East

At a time of rising tensions between the United States and Iran, Iran and the wider Shia world are facing important successions for leadership that will impact a number of issues. These include how independent Iraq will be of foreign influence, whether Iran finally succeeds in exporting its unique system of government, whether Iran continues […]


Mon, Jun 10, 2019

The Middle East’s economic outlook

On June 10, the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East convened a conversation on the economic challenges facing the region.


Wed, May 22, 2019

Ambassador Duclos discusses the influence of Russia and Iran in Syria

Russia and Iran are allies in Syria not out of mutual sympathy, but for pragmatic reasons. Iranian leaders were instrumental in convincing Vladimir Putin to send his air force to Syria to support Bashar al-Assad in September 2015, and the two countries cooperate within Syria to this day. However, various episodes highlight the limits of what looks like an alliance of convenience.


Wed, Jun 5, 2019

China’s changing role in the Middle East

On June 5, the Rafik Hariri Centerfor the Middle East convened a public event on opportunities for US-China cooperation and risks for US-China confrontation in the Middle East. National Security Council Senior Director for the Middle East Dr. Victoria Coates gave a keynote address outlining the Trump Administration’s views on this subject. This was followed by a […]


Thu, May 30, 2019

Russia’s resurgence in the Middle East: How does US policy meet the challenge?

Russia is once again a major player in the Middle East. Moscow has notably backed the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while it has a growing footprint in Iran, Turkey, and the Gulf. Russia’s return to the region has posed significant challenges for transatlantic policymaking in this era of renewed great-power competition. The Scowcroft […]


Fri, Apr 26, 2019

My star in the sky: Movie screening and reception

On April 26, the Atlantic Council hosted a one-time viewing of the documentary ​My Star in the Sky​ (Lakalatwe​ in the Acholi language).  The film depicts a story of survival, friendship, and love between two child soldiers abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) during the conflict between Uganda and Sudan. The United States became involved […]


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Mon, Sep 16, 2019

Can global energy markets withstand the attack on Saudi oil?

Atlantic Council experts react to the September 14 attacks on Saudi oil facilities and what it means for global energy markets and the wider region.

New Atlanticist by David A. Wemer

Geopolitics & Energy Security Iran

Mon, Sep 16, 2019

From overtures for US talks to threats of war with Iran

Rejected again and embarrassed by the escalation in the Persian Gulf his policies have incentivized, Trump is likely to make similar belligerent comments this year and US-Iran relations will only worsen.

IranSource by Barbara Slavin

Iran Politics & Diplomacy

Sat, Sep 14, 2019

After Houthi drone attack, everyone should take a deep breath

The ten-drone attack on Aramco’s Abqaiq facility in Saudi Arabia on September 14 is a sign that the Houthis suffer from false confidence. Snubbing talks and launching attacks is not a way to garner sympathy from the United States or the international community.

New Atlanticist by Kirsten Fontenrose

Geopolitics & Energy Security Saudi Arabia

Thu, Sep 12, 2019

Factbox: Tunisia’s precarious 2019 presidential election

Voting booths open for the Tunisian presidential election this Sunday, September 15, in one of the world’s youngest democracies. Tunisians will be selecting their second president from among twenty-six candidates, including two women, with hopes of a new vision for addressing pressing issues about the economy, security, and political reform. Parliamentary elections follow on October […]

MENASource by Adam Aluzri and Christiana Haynes

Democratic Transitions Elections

Fri, Sep 6, 2019

Slavin quoted in JNS on the possibility of US-Iran negotiations

In the News by Atlantic Council

Iran Nuclear Nonproliferation

Fri, Sep 6, 2019

Kadhim quoted in the Daily Sabah on US-Iran brinkmanship

In the News by Atlantic Council

Conflict Iraq

Thu, Sep 5, 2019

Is the early presidential election a political turning point for Tunisia?

The results of the next Tunisian presidential election may change the political spectrum for the subsequent legislative elections too. During the last eights years, the political paranoia has been the rule, leading public opinion to discredit politicians and political parties.

MENASource by Haykel Ben Mahfoudh

Middle East North Africa

Fri, Aug 30, 2019

Climate-resilient small farming communities vital to MENA food security

Small farmers play a major role in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s food security. They produce the bulk of the region’s domestic supply of staples. However, small farm holders are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change in the region.

MENASource by Amal A. Kandeel

Climate Change & Climate Action Middle East

Fri, Aug 30, 2019

Israel actions against Hezbollah to boost Netanyahu in upcoming election?

A number of unusual Israeli air strikes into Lebanon at the weekend have brought Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah organization potentially closer to conflict today than at any other time since the end of the month-long war between these two foes in July-August 2006.

MENASource by Nicholas Blanford

Israel Middle East

Thu, Aug 29, 2019

Slavin quoted in The Atlantic on Iran’s targeting of the foundation for defense of democracies

In the News by Atlantic Council