Middle East Program

Providing fresh analysis of the drivers of change in the Middle East

The CSIS Middle East Program provides fresh analysis of the drivers of change in the Middle East to decision makers and thought leaders in the United States and abroad.

The Middle East Program is a source for new ideas that go beyond the conventional wisdom, disseminated through written scholarship, events, and commentary in leading news outlets.

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Dr. Alterman serves as the director of the Middle East Program, a position he has held since 2002. Under his leadership, the Middle East Program has launched a biweekly podcast and numerous miniseries, convened events with many of the top thinkers in the field, and conducted innovative research on the Middle East including work on the Chinese influence, sustainability, and cultural shifts in the region.

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Photo by:GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia Steps Out

The recent China-brokered agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran represents a new era of Saudi diplomacy, shifting away from passive agreement with the United States and toward greater independent engagement in the region and beyond. 

Commentary by Jon B. Alterman — March 22, 2023