Crisis in the Gulf

Tehran’s decision to stop compliance with the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the United States “maximum pressure” campaign to isolate Iran and force it to the negotiating table for a new deal have sent tensions spiraling in the Gulf. Throughout 2019, drone attacks and ship seizures in the Strait of Hormuz have threatened to destabilize the region and trigger wider conflict. Read all the latest Atlantic Council work on the crisis in the Gulf and wider US-Iranian tensions.

Read More

Featured commentary & analysis

Featured in-depth research & reports


Past events

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.


Thu, May 30, 2019

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

Atlantic Council Middle East Programs Director William Wechsler gave introductory remarks before the keynote address by Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Kathryn Wheelbarger.


Fri, Apr 26, 2019

My star in the sky: Movie screening and reception

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.



Fri, Dec 6, 2019

Détente in the Gulf?

The National Security Council’s policy process aimed at designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization may accidentally contribute to a resolution of the Gulf rift.

New Atlanticist by Kirsten Fontenrose

Politics & Diplomacy Terrorism

Thu, Dec 5, 2019

Blanford interviewed by Gulf News regarding new Lebanese prime minister

More about our expert

In the News by Atlantic Council

Political Reform Politics & Diplomacy

Fri, Nov 15, 2019

A crisis of commitment in the Middle East. But whose?

While US actions are causing confusion about Washington's commitment, regional actions are also calling into question the region’s commitment to its relationship with the United States and to its own stability.

New Atlanticist by Kirsten Fontenrose

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

Tue, Nov 12, 2019

Revolution in Lebanon

The peaceful protests sweeping Lebanon are revolutionary. Lebanese of multiple political persuasions and all sects have a powerful message for a political class whose incompetence is equaled only by its corruption: Go Away.  To date the principal defender of this abysmal political class and Lebanon’s miserable status quo (featuring a failing economy from which the […]

MENASource by Frederic C. Hof

Corruption Middle East

Mon, Oct 28, 2019

Fontenrose quoted in The Washington Examiner on party concerns over Baghdadi raid

In the News by Atlantic Council

Middle East National Security

Thu, Oct 17, 2019

El-Gamal joins TRT World to discuss the YPG in Syria

In the News by Atlantic Council

Politics & Diplomacy Security & Defense

Tue, Sep 24, 2019

Rouhani’s plan a reason to be hopeful?

Rouhani's proposal for peace will be rejected as outlandish, but it is a sign that Tehran may recognize that its attack on Abqaiq was an overstep.

New Atlanticist by Kirsten Fontenrose

Conflict Iran

Tue, Sep 17, 2019

Talks in Riyadh on Iran: What happens next?

Trump is more than likely hoping that Saudi officials agree to economic pressure on Iran, but oppose an all-out war.

New Atlanticist by Kirsten Fontenrose

Iran Saudi Arabia

Tue, Sep 17, 2019

Fontenrose joins BBC to discuss recent attacks on Saudi

In the News by Atlantic Council

Iran Middle East

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