United Nations arms embargo on Iran

How will the world react? The Middle East Programs presents a series of global perspectives on how the world is approaching the October 2020 expiration of the UN arms embargo on Iran.

Featured commentary & analysis

Featured in-depth research & reports


Counterterrorism Study Group

The Counterterrorism Study Group is a forum for former counterterrorism officials to review the latest threats, to understand emerging trends and future predictions, and to explore creative new proposals for improving the effectiveness of current policies and operations.

Past events

Thu, Aug 20, 2020

A conversation with H.E. Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs

AN #ACFRONTPAGE EVENT – H.E. Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, discusses the recent announcement of normalization of relations between the UAE and Israel.


Tue, Aug 25, 2020

Strangers to strategic partners: Thirty years of Sino-Saudi relations

ONLINE EVENT – This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Saudi Arabia. Over the past three decades, the bilateral relationship has transitioned from one of marginal importance for both countries to a comprehensive strategic partnership.


Tue, Jul 7, 2020

Israel’s growing ties with the Gulf Arab states

ONLINE EVENT – Launch and discussion of issue brief on the recent rapprochement between Israel and the Gulf states.




Wed, Jan 8, 2020

Iran’s missiles may have avoided the worst outcome

If there had been significant US casualties, the world would have awoken to the dawn of a regional war, because the Trump administration would have been compelled to attack the launch sites in Iran—and probably other targets in Iran, also. If the present news holds, the situation is slightly less dangerous, if still perilous.

New Atlanticist by Thomas S. Warrick

Conflict Geopolitics & Energy Security

Wed, Jan 8, 2020

Washington and Tehran can step back – if they want to

After the January 8 Iranian missile attacks on Iraq, a successful tactical de-escalation requires both that the Iranian leadership intends for its military actions not to be escalatory and that the Trump administration perceives those actions as they were intended. In the absence of direct communications between the United States and Iran, however, the potential for misunderstanding and thus the risk of miscalculation remains high.

New Atlanticist by William F. Wechsler

Conflict Geopolitics & Energy Security

Tue, Jan 7, 2020

US-Iran in crisis: Strategic ambiguity and loud weapons in cyberspace

Iran’s government will feel the need to retaliate against the United States, but it does not wish to ignite a prolonged war with the United States. The regime’s near-term aim is to demonstrate to its domestic and regional constituencies that it has the capability and the resolve to avenge Soleimani’s killing and, more strategically, to drum up support for hardliners ahead of legislative elections next month. While Iran has a number of options available, its cyber toolkit not one to be overlooked.

New Atlanticist by Simon Handler, Katherine Wolff, Will Loomis

Cybersecurity Iran

Tue, Jan 7, 2020

Israelis questioning US’ Middle East strategy after Soleimani strike

Of still greater consequence is what Trump resolves to do, or not do, in the weeks and months ahead. Israel and other Middle Eastern states have long entreated the US, with its advanced capabilities and global footprint, to lead the effort to bring Iran to heel.

MENASource by Shalom Lipner

Israel Politics & Diplomacy

Mon, Jan 6, 2020

China’s response to the Soleimani killing

Anything that affects the Gulf states’ ability to get energy to market hurts China’s economy, which in turn erodes the performance legitimacy model of the Chinese Communist Party.

MENASource by Jonathan Fulton

China Iraq

Mon, Jan 6, 2020

By killing Soleimani, the United States destroyed its relationship with Iraq

The Iraqi parliament vote to remove US troops confirms that if Iraqis are cornered and forced to choose between the United States and Iran, they will find it safer to choose Iran.

MENASource by Abbas Kadhim

Iran Iraq

Mon, Jan 6, 2020

Twenty-eight years ago Hezbollah’s leader was assassinated, and Israel paid a price

Soleimani's death brings to mind memories of an earlier aerial assassination in south Lebanon during February 1992. The aftermath of that deadly attack twenty-eight years ago may provide pointers for what might unfold in the wake of Soleimani’s violent death—and possibly remind us of the risk of unintended consequences.

IranSource by Nicholas Blanford

Iran Middle East

Sun, Jan 5, 2020

Iraqi parliament calls for troop withdrawal: What next for the United States?

"If this vote tells us anything," Abbas Kadhim says, "it confirms that if Iraqis are cornered and forced to choose between the United States and Iran, they will find it safer to choose Iran."

New Atlanticist by Atlantic Council

Conflict Iran

Sat, Jan 4, 2020

Russia reacts to the killing of Soleimani

Moscow, not surprisingly, has reacted negatively to Washington’s announcement that Iranian Quds Brigade Commander, General Qasem Soleimani, was killed in Baghdad in a US drone attack.

MENASource by Mark N. Katz

Iran Middle East

Fri, Jan 3, 2020

Questions and certainties in the killing of Qasem Soleimani

Just as certainly, the United States’ failing Iran policy has not made Iran militarily weaker or reined in its actions. But it has alienated and frightened US friends in Europe and Asia, who gaped with the same shock at the assassination of Soleimani as the crowd watching King Joffrey order the beheading of Eddard Stark on Game of Thrones.

New Atlanticist by Borzou Daragahi

Conflict Iran