Middle East Programs

Through our Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative, the Atlantic Council works with allies and partners in Europe and the wider Middle East to protect US interests, build peace and security, and unlock the human potential of the region.

Meet our blogs

All commentary & analysis

MENASource

Aug 9, 2022

Israel’s military operation against PIJ was a short-term success. Here’s how it could be a longer-term one too.

By Shalom Lipner

What has been widely recognized as an Israeli tactical success could also—possibly, if not assuredly—lay the groundwork for consolidating an even more impactful strategic transformation.

Israel Middle East

MENASource

Aug 4, 2022

Russia is forming an alliance of pariah states in the Middle East. It might put Israel in an awkward situation in Syria. 

By Ksenia Svetlova

For lack of other options, Russia is opening to Iran and is preparing to establish a new alliance of pariah states with the Islamic Republic—to the detriment of Jerusalem.

Europe & Eurasia Israel

IranSource

Aug 4, 2022

My brother was executed during the 1988 massacre. The Hamid Noury trial verdict is a victory for truth and justice.

By Lawdan Bazargan

Only the truth can heal Iran and the Iranian people’s collective pain and protect future generations from the danger of such crimes.

Human Rights Iran

IranSource

Aug 3, 2022

Amongst Iran’s super-rich are tax evaders too. And the government isn’t doing much about it.

By Mohammad Salami

Given Iran’s economic crisis, there is widespread public resentment of the ability of the super-rich to avoid paying taxes.

Economy & Business Iran

Event Recap

Aug 2, 2022

Iran and Iraq: The struggle for tenable relations

By Alexandra Kaiss and Mariah Smith

On July 25, the Atlantic Council’s Iraq Initiative and Future of Iran Initiative hosted a virtual event titled “Iran and Iraq: The struggle for tenable relations.”

Economy & Business Energy & Environment

New Atlanticist

Aug 1, 2022

Experts react: Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri is dead. What’s next for US counterterrorism?

By Atlantic Council experts

For answers about what this strike means for al-Qaeda, the US approach to counterterrorism, and Afghanistan’s future, we turned to experts across our network.

Afghanistan National Security

Event Recap

Aug 1, 2022

Biden’s trip to the Middle East: Outcomes and opportunities

By Alexandra Kaiss and Mariah Smith

On July 21st, the Middle East Programs’ Israel Project, in collaboration with the Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative, hosted a virtual event titled “Biden’s trip to the Middle East: Outcomes and opportunities.”

Israel Middle East

MENASource

Jul 26, 2022

Experts react: Tunisia’s president cemented his power grab with a referendum vote. What does it mean for North Africa? 

By Karim Mezran, Emadeddin Badi, Alia Brahimi, Alessia Melcangi, Alissa Pavia

Atlantic Council experts share their thoughts on the vote and what it means for North Africa writ large.

Middle East North Africa

IranSource

Jul 26, 2022

One Iranian perpetrator gets a life sentence. Another is potentially set free.

By Celeste Kmiotek

July was bittersweet for human rights lawyers and activists, particularly those working on Iran. On July 14, the Stockholm District Court announced that former Iranian official Hamid Nouri was found guilty of war crimes and mass murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

Human Rights Iran

IranSource

Jul 25, 2022

The Internet has no place in Khamenei’s vision for Iran’s future

By Sayeh Isfahani

Almost three decades after Iran connected to the Internet, Khamenei is rushing to impose the digital iron veil he has always dreamed of.

Iran Middle East