Middle East and North Africa

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal welcomes U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at Riyadh Air Base on Oct. 27, 2011.

Can Biden Really Shrug Off the Saudis?

David Rundell, a seasoned Saudi hand, talks to Foreign Policy about what’s really at stake with the Biden administration’s reassessment of a decades-old relationship.

Israeli lawmaker and leader of centrist Yesh Atid party, Yair Lapid, speaks at a press conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, on March 2, 2015.

How a Journalist-Turned-Politician Became the Best Hope for Israel’s Anyone-but-Bibi Camp

Centrist Yair Lapid refused to join Netanyahu’s coalition last year. Now the decision is paying off.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) meets with the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi (R), in Tehran, on Feb. 21.

Who’s to Blame for Stalling U.S.-Iran Negotiations?

Biden was expected to revive the nuclear deal quickly—but as pro-Iran militias attack U.S. forces in Iraq and Washington strikes back in Syria, direct talks aren’t on the horizon.

Eliot Higgins, the founder and executive director of Bellingcat, speaks during the world’s biggest tech festival, Campus Party, in Utrecht, the Netherlands, on May 27, 2016.

The Mice Who Caught the Cat—and Rattled the Kremlin

“We Are Bellingcat” charts the rise of the digital sleuths who have used open-source investigations to foil Russia’s intelligence agencies.

Fatou Bensouda, the International Criminal Court’s head prosecutor, speaks during the Assembly of States Parties at The Hague, Netherlands, on Dec. 2, 2019.

Biden Can’t Claim ‘Moral Leadership’ While Sanctioning the ICC

Washington’s aversion to the court’s recent decision on Palestine is emblematic of a fundamental disconnect in U.S. foreign policy.

Then-U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman

Obama’s Iran Deal Looms Large in Senate Hearings for Key Biden Picks

Wendy Sherman and Colin Kahl will likely get grilled by Republicans over their role in the 2015 nuclear pact.

U.S. President Joe Biden steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on March 1.

Can Biden Finally Put the Middle East in Check and Pivot Already?

The new administration, like previous ones, has a Middle East quagmire. But it’s trying some nuanced moves to break free.

President Joe Biden walks toward reporters at the White House.

Biden’s Syria Strikes Fuel New Debate on War Powers

Democrats in Congress signaled they were uneasy with the move and are demanding answers from the White House.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a meeting with Lebanon’s Maronite Christian patriarch in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Nov. 14, 2017.

Who Is Hot and Who Is Not in the Middle East

The Biden administration wants to downgrade the region. Here are the countries he can ignore—and the ones he can’t.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives for a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May (not pictured) in number 10 Downing Street on March 7, 2018 in London, England.

Report: Saudi Crown Prince Approved Khashoggi Operation

A long-awaited intelligence report comes as Biden reassesses the United States’ relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Mufaddal Hamaddeh (center) works with a Syrian American Medical Society neonatal intensive care nurse and medical field officer at Ibn Sina Hospital in Idlib, Syria, on Feb. 9.

‘Crimes Against Humanity Were Committed Every Day in Syria’

A Syrian American doctor describes the devastation in Idlib, Syria.

Abdolnaser Hemmati (C), Governor of the Central Bank of Iran, listens to a speech in parliament in Tehran on Oct. 7, 2018.

U.S.-Iran Talks Will Falter Unless Abdolnaser Hemmati Is at the Table

Unwinding sanctions will be central to reviving the nuclear deal. If the Biden administration wants a lasting solution, it must involve Iran’s central bank governor.

A close-up view of Dubai Knowledge Park’s Huawei building in Jumeirah, Dubai, on Feb. 22.

Influence Without Entanglement in the Middle East

How China is outflanking the United States—and staying under the radar.

An MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft flies by during a training mission at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada, on Nov. 17, 2015.

Biden Must Base Arms Sales on U.S. Interests—Not U.S. Jobs

Exporting advanced weapons systems to the Middle East will create very few jobs at home. Washington must base its decisions on national security strategy rather than domestic politics.

A cutout of an Israeli soldier and a sign in the Golan Heights

The Axis of Resistance to Israel Is Breaking Up

Syria has turned against Hamas, and Iran’s efforts to mediate aren't working.

Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential candidate, delivers a foreign-policy statement on Iran at Chelsea Piers in New York, on Jan. 7, 2020.

Did Biden Wait Too Long to Engage Iran?

Held back by infighting and hard-liners on the Hill, the administration may have squandered precious time to save the Iran nuclear deal, critics say.

The United Nations Human Rights Council during a debate about the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Geneva on June 26, 2019.

Can Biden Fix the U.N. Human Rights Council?

The administration insists it can succeed where two U.S. presidents already tried and failed.

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