Alex Vatanka, Foreign Policy

Alex Vatanka

Foreign Policy

Washington, DC, United States

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Recent:
  • Foreign Policy
Past:
  • MiddleEast Institute
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Haaretz.com
  • National Interest
  • Lawfare
  • The Globe and Mail
  • RealClearWorld

Recent articles by Alex:

What the Hijab Protests Mean for Iran’s Clerical Class

The supreme leader’s stance could become a source of widening divide. → Read More

Water Security Cooperation Could Bring the Persian Gulf Together

With supplies running out, water security could be the issue that finally makes the region’s countries work together. → Read More

The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Could Make Tehran’s Worst Nightmare Come True

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict could spill over to Iran’s Azeri minority, setting off a battle the government can’t contain. → Read More

COVID-19 and Iran’s misplaced priorities

COVID-19 is undoubtedly the biggest health crisis in our lifetime. Pundits around the world, but also a long list of policymakers from Washington to Abu Dhabi to Beijing, wonder about the long-term implications of this deadly pandemic. While there is plenty of speculation about how this crisis might re-balance global power dynamics, other foreign policy implications are more immediately… → Read More

China’s Great Game in Iran

Tehran needs a friend. Beijing may be a dangerous one. → Read More

Monday Briefing: A mixed record for PM Khan’s first year in office

This week's briefing on recent news and upcoming events in the region featuring Arif Rafiq, Ibrahim Jalal, Michael Sexton and Eliza Campbell, and Alex Vatanka. → Read More

Stuck in the Middle With Iran

Under pressure, Baghdad might not choose the United States. → Read More

The Gulf state that might get Israel and Iran talking

Despite the risks of war between the U.S. and Iran, a narrow diplomatic opportunity exists. But it is not between Washington and Tehran, but rather between Jerusalem and Tehran → Read More

Iran’s Zarif Can’t Catch a Break

By designating the IRGC a terrorist group, Trump has put the heat on the United States’ one potential ally in Tehran. → Read More

Monday Briefing: Algeria's political crisis is deepening

In this week's Monday Briefing, MEI experts Robert S. Ford, Paul Salem, Marvin G. Weinbaum, Wa'el Alzayat, and Alex Vatanka provide analysis on recent and upcoming events including Algeria's ongoing political crisis, the 16th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, criticism of the U.S.-Taliban talks by Afghanistan's national security advisor, international fundraising efforts to aid… → Read More

Monday Briefing: Tenuous promise in Pakistan and Afghanistan

In this week's Monday Briefing, MEI experts Marvin G. Weinbaum, Robert S. Ford, Alex Vatanka, and Birol Baskan provide analysis on recent and upcoming events including a potential agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan, protests in Algeria, Rouhani's planned trip to Baghdad, and recent Turkish naval exercises. Tenuous promise in Pakistan and Afghanistan Marvin G. WeinbaumDirector for… → Read More

Challenges abound as the Islamic Republic turns 40

This February marks the 40th anniversary of Iran’s 1979 revolution and the birth of the Islamic Republic, but for those in power in Tehran, celebrating the victories of the past is easier than dealing with the problems of the present. Challenges abound on all sides. → Read More

Weekly Briefing: Pompeo’s visit raises more questions than it answers

In this week's Monday Briefing, MEI experts Gerald Feierstein, Paul Salem, Alex Vatanka, W. Robert Pearson, and Mirette F. Mabrouk provide analysis on recent and upcoming events including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recent visit to the Middle East, recent protests in Sudan, Iranian outreach to Baghdad, President Trump's discussion with President Erdogan on treatment of the Kurds, and the… → Read More

Iran and the United States Can be Friends

They almost were, and now Hassan Rouhani could help get things back on track. → Read More

Iran prepares for US sanctions

In this week's Monday Briefing, MEI experts Alex Vatanka, Marvin G. Weinbaum, and Charles Lister provide analysis on recent and upcoming events including Iran's decision to sell its oil in the private sector, the prime minister of Pakistan's search for foreign aid, and the Syrian summit in Istanbul. → Read More

Khashoggi disappearance sends shock waves

In this week's briefing, MEI experts discuss recent and upcoming events including the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi from the Saudi consulate in Turkey, the arrests of an opposition leader and a prominent journalist in Pakistan, and Iran’s decision to join the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). → Read More

Rouhani’s Path to Becoming Supreme Leader

Facing death threats at home, he has one trump card left to play to stay in the race. → Read More

From Facebook to YouTube, Netanyahu is actively courting the Iranian people. There couldn’t be a worse messenger

Tehran, it's Little Satan calling: As conflict between Israel and Iran looms over Syria, Netanyahu seeks to pressure Tehran by addressing Iranians directly. But what if Israeli and Iranian citizens themselves built their own anti-escalation, anti-war dialogue? → Read More

Trump’s unconvincing "hearts and minds" strategy on Iran

In the span of one week, President Donald Trump both warned Iran’s leaders of a calamitous response to any belligerence from Tehran and offered Tehran a “real” nuclear deal if they come back to the negotiation table. It is just the latest example of the Trump administration’s disjointed Iran policy. → Read More

The decline of the US’s role in Syria

In this week's Monday Briefing, MEI experts Charles Lister, Alex Vatanka, Randa Slim, and Marvin G. Weinbaum provide analysis on the US's silence amid the Assad regime's expansion, the Iranian president's trip to Europe, the uptick in violence after Iraq's elections, and the upcoming Pakistani parliamentary elections. → Read More